There has never been a more important time for us to collectively protect ourselves from the cyber hazards that exist today, from business owners trying to maintain the security of their networks and personnel to remote workforces and children learning electronically.
There are numerous lists of advice and best practices available, but rather than preaching the virtues of a password manager or two-factor authentication, let us take a look inside the mind of a hacker to gain a better understanding of how they operate.
Step 1: Recognize a Vulnerability
A hacker must first discover a way in, and there are various possibilities to consider. They can take advantage of flaws in a device, network, system, or application to provide unauthorised access from the outside.
Instead, hackers frequently focus on human vulnerabilities, such as user errors, which can readily disclose valuable data or allow unauthorised access. This can include using weak or repeated passwords, installing harmful software inadvertently, and much more.Finally, hackers may try to take advantage of a network flaw, such as an unprotected Wi-Fi network.
Step 2: Causing Havoc Or Worse
Once a hacker has gained access, they usually aim to take advantage of it as much as possible. A hacker will commonly input the same email and password combination into hundreds or even thousands of other sites if it works on one. They might also attempt tiny variations on the password with the programme they’re using. When a hacker gains access to a large number of websites that hold credit card information and other personal information, they strike gold. Hackers may later post or sell these credentials on the dark web, fast spreading the victim’s information even farther, although this is normally only after they’ve accessed all of your sensitive data without your knowledge.
Step 3: Shrewd Scamming
Hackers are also on the lookout for a particularly sophisticated system with a higher risk of misconfiguration or a gadget with an excessive number of connections. If that isn’t obvious, a clever hacker may use email, social media, phone calls, and other methods to get access to a system and steal sensitive information. When the target is in a hurry, phishing tactics are more likely to succeed because the target disregards a gut reaction to something that appears to be amiss. These fraudulent communications will frequently request payment information via email or a dubious website that lacks branding or standard payment protocols.
Keeping One Step Ahead
It’s possible that you won’t be able to prevent all types of cybercrime. If you haven’t already, it’s very possible that you will encounter some type in your life. However, all hope is not lost; there are a number of steps you can take to secure yourself and your personal information while also making a hacker’s job more difficult.