How to Become a Hacker’s Least Desirable Target
“They won’t try to hack me. Why would anyone try to hack me?”
Sound familiar? Most people feel this way. They’re just a normal every-day family. Why would anybody hack them? They have nothing valuable to offer. Why bother putting up firewalls or other security?
Here are a few reasons why:
·Studies show that a very small percentage of cyber attacks target a specific person. The overwhelming majority randomly seek out the easiest target to penetrate. If that’s you…
It’s estimated that three-quarters of Americans have been victims of cyber crime.
You’re assuming the attackers want to get something. Many just want to make trouble for you. They enjoy wreaking havoc.
Cyber-bullying is real. Your children are susceptible to it. Suffice it to say the outcomes are often very bad.
Ask yourself what you feel is valuable. Family photos? Videos? Other recordings? Personal financial or medical records? Think about what is on your computer that a mischievous hacker could just ruin. What would be the cost to you of losing them?
There are actually many reasons that are even more frightening.
Not all hackers want to steal information, some just want to wreak havoc.
How Do You Know If You’re Under Attack?
Remember how we just mentioned that hackers look for the path of least-resistance? The good news for you is that this takes time! In fact, they may be out there looking at your network for a few hundred days. They don’t just attack and stop. They’re constantly seeking new easy exploits.
Here are some signs to watch for which either suggest or right-out tell you that you’re being attacked:
You receive a ransom note telling you that your data has been stolen and will only be returned if you pay up. The easy way to check if this is real is to look for your data.
·You get a phone call from someone telling you that they are from a major software manufacturer and that they have detected suspicious activity on your home network. They offer to get rid of it for a tidy sum. If you say okay, and pay, your problems have just begun.
A dialogue box appears on your screen telling you that you’re being hacked and offering a link which will “take you back to safety.” Or you simply can’t get rid of that box without rebooting your computer.
Odd characters or shapes appear on your screen every now and then. It is possible that these are just “artifacts” caused by normal software operation. But if it starts happening when you’re using various programs it’s time to take a closer look.
If you have smart devices in your home, you may find some of them going on or off by themselves more frequently.
While “weird things” can happen on any computer system, note the frequency with which they happen. When they start happening more and more its time to become concerned.
“Digital doorways” into your home include smart speakers, thermostats, internet cameras and doorbells.
What To Do?
Begin by considering all the doors and windows through which someone can gain entry into into your house. Be sure to include the “digital doorways”. There are more than you think:
Your main internet connection from your cable TV or phone company
Your home security system may connect to its home office over the internet
Every mobile phone, tablet, or computer in your house
Every wifi controlled device in your home. Today that could include any of the following: smart speakers, light switches, outlets, thermostats, baby monitor, garage door openers, door locks, your refrigerator, your car, your washer/dryer, your home entertainment system and television sets, smoke alarms, with more being added all the time. Each of these devices are potentially open digital doorways into your home.
Next, learn more about the many ways hackers attack, and how to protect yourself from them.
Finally, recognize that you may not be the technology “guru”. You may not be aware of all the great tools available to scan your network to seek out and block attackers. You’ve seen firewalls that protect the wired connections. Now take a look at Sumos.io to learn about new protection for your wifi devices!
If you have anything you consider valuable on your home network, and you want to be sure your family members are safe, consider the modest expense of protecting yourself worthwhile.