Protect Yourself from Hackers by Following These Vital Steps

By Jamie Epstein August 02, 2012

On almost a daily basis, headlines around the world are filled with the news that another major corporation has been infiltrated by cyber criminals and they are now dealing with a whole host of associated problems because of the attack.

To find out more about ways in which both companies and individuals can better arm themselves against these predators, I recently spoke with Web Security Expert Alan Wlasuk who is also currently the managing partner of WDDInc., a software development company and its subsidiary 403 Web Security, a secure Web application development company in Indianapolis, Ind.

Touted as developing client server and now Web applications for around 18 years, both companies are heavily focused in on powering high quality, secure Web applications for clients.

“Three ways that e-mail accounts commonly get hacked is by first people making bad choices about their e-mail passwords, selecting easy to figure out passwords. The next is often times people will trust the e-mail environments to a higher degree than they should, which puts them at risk of being penetrated. Third and perhaps what I think is most prominent, is malware. Malware is being distributed across the world. 50 percent of all computers have malware and if it sits on the home computer, what happens is it records a user’s every key stroke and then when they log into any websites it saves every e-mail address they use as well as passwords.”

One point to highlight is that a password management solution can help to raise the bar on security as it enables people to easily manage multiple different passwords for various accounts.

He added, “Part of the bad choices that people make is that they use the same password for every account they have even if it’s a rhythmic, complex password that is then used in 25 places across the Web. If just one of those places gets hacked, it will immediately enable hackers to get into every other site with the user’s information. This offering is really important.”

 Some of the personal and financial issues that stem from when someone is hacked other than feelings of both anger and frustration include, according to this expert,: identity theft, the fact that e-mail accounts often contain information that should not be made public and cyber extortion is extremely popular amongst certain groups, and then if someone’s e-mail address is made public their contacts could then suffer consequences including being overwhelmed with spam.

To avoid being hacked, the casual users should do their best to avoid malware at all costs. Ensure that you have an active anti-virus or malware solution in place, run periodic scans in case you do have malware or viruses, stay password safe by selecting clever passwords and don’t ever use the same one twice, and last but certainly not least tread the Internet with care.

“Avoid sites which seem like they may be risky and for heaven’s sake don’t open up and process e-mail when you don’t recognize the sender of the message. The worst thing you can do is open up an e-mail about a product, click on a link and end up on a website that is full of malware,” Wlasuk concluded.

If you are unfortunately a victim of a hacking, first take a deep breath and then change your passwords as soon as possible for all of your accounts. Figure out what you’ve done wrong and what may have not been so clever on your part, rectify it, and then learn from your extremely annoying mistake.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

TechZone360 Web Editor

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