What You Should Know About Hacking and Your Digital Devices

Protect yourself against potential security threats and keep your digital devices safe

In today’s modern world we have unlimited access to a multitude of digital devices – Smartphones, Laptops, Personal Computers, DSLR Cameras, Tablets and many other types. This advent of mobile technology opens our world up to a whole new level of possibilities. However, there is also the potential negative consequence – Our digital devices can be prone to attacks and persistent hackers could exploit weaknesses to gain access to those devices and obtain personal information or cause havoc.  The below list details 6 common methods of hacking digital devices together with preventative measures.

Via an unsecured Wi-Fi network connection

Wi-Fi connections are potential security hazards. If a Wi-Fi network is not configured correctly, then attackers can exploit weaknesses and gain access to your home network. Furthermore, if you regularly use public Wi-Fi networks, you are opening yourself up to an attack. To combat this, you must ensure your home Wi-Fi network password is regularly changed, and that it is set to only allow access once a password has been entered. When using public Wi-Fi networks, you could benefit from using a VPN service which hides your public IP address and will block any access to your device.

Via a malicious app installed on your Smartphone

Applications are a great source of fun and millions of users regularly download apps and games for their Smartphones and tablets. While the majority of apps are completely harmless and act exactly as they are described, there are malicious apps that are created with the sole intent of causing disruption or gathering data. A malicious app could pretend to offer a service, but once installed on your device, could activate spyware or log important information. To avoid situations like this, you should only install apps from trusted sources, and when installing, check what permissions are being requested.

Via a flaw or vulnerability in our operating system

Operating systems are the building blocks of your digital devices. Each device such as a mobile phone or a Laptop will have a basic operating system (Such as Windows or Android). Despite the best efforts of the software developers, operating systems can have security weaknesses and can be exploited. To ensure your devices are secure, ensure that you always update your operating system and run the current version – This will ensure that your device has the latest security fixes.

Via email viruses and spyware

Emails have presented a whole minefield of potential security flaws for many years. Emails can contain viruses that can infect your digital device, or even spyware and keylogging software. There are certain rules you should obey when opening an email. Have you signed up to receive emails from the sender? If not, delete it – it is most likely a fake. Does the email have an attachment? If so, do not open it – File attachments are a prime method of infecting your device with a virus. Is the email requesting a response or action? If so, do not take any action! In many cases, replying to the email will activate a virus or add your address to their mailing list.

Via an unsecured home network

As previously mentioned, home networks can present potential security flaws. An unsecured or poorly configured router can provide an access point to your network that attackers can exploit. Ensure that your home network is password protected and that your router password has been changed from the default choice. Furthermore, regularly update your router software to ensure it has the most up to date security patches.

If you follow these steps and maintain a level of vigilance, there is no reason why your digital devices cannot remain protected and secure. If you are unsure of anything or expect an attack, seek help and do not make any rash decisions.

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