The 'How to' Blog

Apr 18 2013   2:11PM GMT

Three steps to protect your PC from a hack attack

FirebrandInstructors Profile: FirebrandInstructors

The computer is part of just about every aspect of our lives. Most transactions are completed online – from the email conversations to online banking. This all makes life easier – until a hacker spoils our fun. Having your bank account emptied is no laughing matter.

The hacker has many identities. Ranging from the prankster, to the full-blown criminal. Either way, malware and viruses becoming ever-more sophisticated. But there’s one constant…

For a virus to ‘work’, it must be opened by a human (that could be you). Once that’s happened, there’s no telling what evil deed the virus has the power to instigate. That’s where some simple awareness comes in. If you know the basics, chances are you won’t be giving a hacker your bank details any time soon.

It really is this simple

Be it through a wire or in the air, there are countless ways for a virus to hit your PC. While good security software is essential, developing great security awareness is key. Remember that the potential for malware or transferring viruses is always present.

Hackers will always prey on their easiest victim. Keep these three steps in mind, and you’ll ensure that it’s not you:

1. Get anti-virus software!

You’d think this would be obvious. There’s even free anti-virus software out there. Always keep it up-to-date

2. Hide behind a firewall

Does what you expect. This is the virtual wall between you and your nosey neighbour (aka the hacker). Firewalls prevent unauthorised connections to your network.

3. Maintain tireless wireless

Chances are you’ll be connecting to the internet wirelessly. It’s a little bit like shouting your credit card details to a friend across a crowded room. Anyone between you and your friend (the router) can hear those details. It’s possible for the hacker to position themselves between you and your router. Look up wi-fi man in the middle attacks, and you’ll be tempted to never go online again.

But creating a long, un-guessable password for your wi-fi connection will stop the hacker in their tracks. You can also get a little more technical, and switch-on encryption. This will give you an extra layer of security.

Stick to the above and you’ll be cyber safe. Just beware of complacency – because the hacker will be waiting for you to drop your guard.

Author Bio: Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

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