1. What is Hacking?
Computer hacking is the authorised or unauthorised practice of modifying hardware and software to accomplish a goal outside of the creator’s original purpose, by exploiting any existing flaws or loopholes in that hardware/software.
2. How do I secure my computer from being hacked?
In order to keep your computer safe, it’s important to install a good antivirus and a firewall. Also, having some basic knowledge of computer security and the nefarious agents that could put it at risk, such as the virus, Trojans, adware, spyware, phishing, etc. is helpful when it comes to keeping your computer safe. Common sense helps as well, so avoid clicking on any suspicious links, installing software from untrusted sources or creating accounts on shady websites.
3. What is malware?
Malware, also known as malicious software, is software which is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain authorised access to a computer system without the knowledge of the owner.
4. How can I remove malware?
For starters, you should perform a computer scan using a program designed for malware detection to see if your device is indeed infected. Once the program establishes your infection level, you can proceed to remove the malware. This can be done either manually, but this method is only recommended for tech-savvy users, as it is a complicated process that requires advanced computer knowledge, or by using a top-quality anti-malware software.
Once your computer is clean again, install a good malware protection solution that includes anti-spyware software and anti-virus protection, and which is also backed by a firewall.
5. What is phishing?
Phishing is the deceptive practice of posing as a reputable entity or person in electronic communications, such as email, IM or social networking, and sending messages purporting to come from that trusted source with the aim of obtaining personal information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, often for malicious reasons, from unsuspecting users.
6. How can I prevent phishing?
To protect yourself and your computer against phishing scams, make sure to follow these rules:
do not provide personal information to any unsolicited requests for information.
only enter sensitive information on sites that have “https” in the web address and the padlock symbol in the browser window frame.
if you think a message you received is just phishing bait, contact the company it’s purporting to come from by phone to check the legitimacy of the email.
always type in the trusted URL for a company’s site into the address bar of your browser when logging in.
don’t open messages from unknown senders and delete them immediately.
use strong and hard-to-guess passwords.
7. How can I safely browse the Internet?
Internet safety can be deceiving, but there are some measures you might take to ensure a safe browsing experience. First of all, avoid sites that are prone to be a source of spyware, including adult sites, file sharing sites, and community sites.
Secondly, use antivirus protection and a firewall, update your operating system regularly, and increase your browser security settings.
Additionally, only download software from sites you trust and clear your browser history and cookies when you use other people’s systems.
8. What is a firewall?
A firewall is a network security system that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules, meaning that the only traffic allowed onto the network is defined in the firewall policy; all other traffic is denied. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software form, or a combination of both, and have been the first line of defence in network security for over 25 years.
9. What is a Trojan virus?
A Trojan virus is any malicious computer program that pretends to be legitimate software and is employed by cyber-thieves and hackers to gain access to users’ systems. When launched, Trojans will perform a harmful action. They are normally installed secretly and deliver their malicious payload without the user’s knowledge or consent, as users are normally tricked into installing them by some form of social engineering.
The most common types of Trojans are Backdoor Trojans (these often include a keylogger), Trojan Spies, Password stealing Trojans, and Trojan Proxies that convert your computer into a spam distribution machine.
10. How do I protect myself on a social media site?
Here are some tips to protect yourself when using social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter:
don’t share your usernames, passwords, or network details with anyone else.
don’t disclose information about your home or work address, travel itineraries, holiday plans.
avoid revealing your social security number, credit card details or banking information as this puts you at risk of identity theft.
ensure that your computer runs updated software, including the operating system, personal firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware and a current browser.
activate the privacy and security settings offered by your social network.
use strong and varied passwords for different accounts; never use the same password for business and personal accounts.