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What’s Computer Hacking and How to Prevent It

Do you ever doubt your computer is hacked and being controlled by someone? If so, it’s quite normal. Computer hacking takes place every other minute nowadays in the Internet-connected world. No matter somebody or nobody, it’s possible to suffer from hacking while online.

What is Computer Hacking?

Computer Hacking Definition

Hacking refers to the activities compromising digital devices including computers, smartphones, tablets, or even the whole network and computer hacking just limits the activities on computers, desktops, or laptops, Mac or Windows. Although hackers’ hacking activities are not always created for vicious purposes, hacking and hackers are still described as cybercrime and cybercriminals because most of them take place just for profits, information, or even pure fun.

Anyone or any device is vulnerable to threats from computer hackers and online predators as long as there’s access to the Internet. Hackers and online predators plant malware into computers through phishing email, instant messages, or false websites.

When it comes to computers without a firewall installed, hackers are even able to directly visit them and get their owners’ personal information. As such, all the communications that occur on the computer and browsing histories will be recorded by hackers. Sometimes, online predators even seduce computer owners to expose sensitive information and banking information as they play false roles on the Internet.

From Where do Hackers Hack into Your Computer?

There are multiple ways for hackers to hack into your computer.

Phishing Email

Phishing email is one of the most popular and easiest ways for hackers to hack into a computer. Hackers seduce computer owners to click vicious links to install malware on their computers so as to steal private information.

Webcam and Microphone

With the features boosting on mobile devices, webcam and microphone are usually embedded in computers so that they can be used to take pictures, videos and enable users to talk with others. Unfortunately, webcams and microphones have been a leading way for hackers to hack into computers. Most of the time, computer webcam and microphones are kept on and hackers are able to take advantage of them to hack into them.

Password Hacking

Hackers are able to enter the computer system when they’ve stolen the password, which is usually the first step to compromise the cybersecurity of a computer. What type of password is easy to be hacked, then? The passwords that are easily created and guessed tend to be hacked like birth date, 123456, etc. Moreover, it’s never a good idea to use the same password for all online accounts.

Social Media

Social media has been increasingly abused by hackers to hack into computers and smartphones. Containing almost all information concerning individuals, social media accounts are a top risk for private information to be stolen or controlled. Do you think the messages you’ve sent and received on WhatsApp are secure and well hidden? Only WhatsApp knows.

Applications

Today, applications play an important role in supporting some features based on the connection between computers and the Internet. However, some application providers are just “hackers” since they try to collect users’ information without their knowledge or consent. That’s why free applications are especially risky.

Can a computer be hacked in sleep mode?

When a computer is in sleep mode, mostly it can be disconnected from hackers because its connection with the Internet is naturally cut. As soon as a computer is switched to a sleep mode, all ethernets and Wi-Fi routers will be disconnected from the device. Hackers can never attack a computer unless it’s accessible to the Internet. Therefore, it’s necessary and important to set your computer to sleep mode whenever it’s temporarily unavailable.

“Fast Food” for Computer Hacking

To quickly understand computer hacking, the following resources below enable you to quickly know about computer hacking:

Books about computer hacking

Ghost on the Wires is a book written by Kevin Mitnick and published in 2011. This novel is intriguing, insightful, and highly educational. Kevin Mitnick is one of the most elusive and popular high-tech hackers in history. He went from being a black hat hacker caught by the government to be a white hat involved in capturing serious criminal hacking.

RTFM is a no-frills, but a thorough reference guide was written by Ben Clark. It contains the basic syntax for common Linux and Windows command-line tools, but it also encompasses unique use cases for powerful tools such as Python and Windows PowerShell. You can use it on any system to easily navigate them and find loopholes and weaknesses.

Rather than just showing how to run existing exploits, author Jon Erickson explains how the mysterious hacking techniques actually work. By reading this book, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of programming, machine architecture, network communication, and existing hacking techniques. Whether you are a beginner or have only minimal knowledge of hacking, this book will help you understand the complexity of the digital security task.

Shon Harris has written this book for those preparing for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam. The book covers all eight areas of the exam,  including Security and risk management, Asset security, Security architecture, and engineering, Communication and network security, Identity and access management, Security assessment and testing, Security Operations, and Software development security.

Michael Sikorski and Andrew Honig wrote this book to describe how individuals can analyze and discover malware in windows systems. By reading this book, you can learn how to safely analyze, debug, and disassemble any malware of unknown origin.

The book by David Kennedy, Jim O’Gorman, Devon Kearns, Mati Aharoni is about penetration testing and security testing. It covers a number of tutorials, including many testing methods, so that newcomers to the field can learn and have hands-on practice opportunities.

Christopher Hadnagy wrote this book in 2010. This book provides valuable information on the many deceptive means used by hackers to gather information to commit identity theft, fraud, or gain access to computer systems. The methods of preventing social engineering threats are also discussed.

Bruce Schneier wrote this cryptography classic on cryptographic methods in hacking attacks. The book covers dozens of cryptographic algorithms and how it relates to hacking activities.

This book covers all the basics of penetration testing and hacking. Even if you are new to the industry with no knowledge of hacking, you can still get something out of it. Tool coverage includes Backtrack and Kali Linux, Google reconnaissance, MetaGooFil, DNS interrogation, Nmap, Nessus, Metasploit, the Social-Engineer Toolkit (SET), w3af, Netcat, post exploitation tactics, the Hacker Defender rootkit, and more.

The Code Book is a book written by Simon Singh and published in New York in 1999. It is a valuable book because it is not entirely about hacking or any other facts about computer networks. It also includes details about the codes and ciphers that have been used to communicate and transmit information since ancient times.

Movies about computer hacking

Silk Road is a 2021 American crime thriller film, written and directed by Tiller Russell. The film stars Jason Clarke, Nick Robinson. It is based on the true story of Ross Ulbricht, who creates a website on the Dark web, drawing the attention of the FBI and DEA, who send in federal agent Richard “Rick” Bowden, a fictional composite of real-life DEA Agent Carl    Force and US Secret Service Special Agent Shaun Bridges, both of whom were convicted of felonies related to asset theft in the Ulbricht investigation, to destroy Ross’ empire.

The Social Dilemma is a 2020 American docudrama film directed by Jeff Orlowski and written by Orlowski, Davis Coombe, and Vickie Curtis. The film delves into how the design of social media fosters addiction, manipulates people’s beliefs, emotions, and behavior, and promotes conspiracy theories and falsehoods in order to maximize profit.

KnowBe4, a freshly minted unicorn (privately held firm valued at $1 billion), is the subject of a documentary by Cybercrime Magazine. At KnowBe4’s Clearwater, Fla. headquarters in the Tampa Bay region, Founder/CEO Stu Sjouwerman and Chief Hacking Officer Kevin Mitnick are joined by senior executives and early employees. The nascent cybersecurity firm, which was founded in 2010, climbed to $175 million in annual revenues in 2019. Now, KnowBe4 is the largest security awareness training and phishing simulation platform in the world.

Enemy of the State is a 2020 American documentary film directed and produced by Sonia Kennebeck. It follows an ordinary American family who is drawn into a bizarre network of espionage and corporate secrets when their hacker son Matt DeHart becomes a target of the U.S. government.

Password is a Bangladeshi action thriller film released in 2019. Malek Afsari directs the film, which is produced by Shakib Khan and Mohammad Iqbal under the name of SK   Films. The film is mostly on a Swiss bank account password. The account’s original owner is Alauddin Sarker, who handed his bank account password to Rudra before his death so that he may deposit money in the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Fund.

They took your data. Then they took control. The Great Hack is a 2019 documentary film about the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Cyber Crime is a documentary film directed by Jeff Roldan, starring 10 leading cybercrime experts. It follows a growing plague in our ever-expanding digital world. Billions of dollars are stolen or lost every year as a result. It destroys businesses, even lives.

Unfriended: Dark Web is a 2018 American computer screen horror film written and directed by Stephen Susco. It is a sequel to the 2014 film Unfriended and follows a group of friends who discover a laptop with access to the dark web, only to discover that the original owners, a bunch of cybercriminal hackers, are watching them.

Searching is a 2018 American mystery thriller computer screen film directed by Aneesh Chaganty. The film depicts a father (John Cho) who, with the aid of a police investigator, tries to locate his missing 16-year-old daughter (Michelle La) through computer screens and smartphones (Debra Messing).

Why You and Your Computer? What do Hackers or Predators Aim at?

As your computer is connected with the Internet, the malware planted by hackers will secretly transfer your personal and banking information without your knowledge or consent or try to collect the personal information you’ve exposed to the Internet.

Hackers or online predators aim to,

How to Tell if Your Computer Has Been Hacked?

You should be alert to what is happening to your computer so as to prevent it from being hacked. Here are a couple of signs telling hacking on your computer:

What Should be Done at Once if Your Computer has been Hacked?

If your computer has been unfortunately hacked, the following things can be done immediately to compensate for the tragedy.

Isolate Your Computer with the Internet

The first aid for computer hacking is to disconnect your computer from the Internet ASAP. As is aforementioned, hackers hack into your computer totally based on the connection between your computer and the Internet. As soon as the ethernet is plugged out from your computer or disconnect from Wi-Fi, hacking will come to a temporary end. After all, your computer won’t suffer from new rounds of hacking.

Change Your Passwords

Once your computer gets hacked, you should immediately change your passwords for online accounts to protect your accounts from being exposed to hackers. Change the passwords of your important accounts like email, social media, subscriptions, etc. with strong passwords that should contain numbers, alphabets, and special symbols.

Tell Your Computer Hacking to Important Contacts

Now that your computer has been hacked, your contacts will possibly be reached by hackers to scam their money based on your identity. To minimize your contacts’ losses, it’s best to tell your computer hacking issue to important contacts like family, friends, or working staff.

How to Prevent Your Computer from being Hacked in the Future?

Hackers are terrible but there are still things you can do to prevent your computer from being hacked.

Keep Alert Online

Simple Cybersecurity Tips

Bottom Line


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