You may not know it, but your computer is one of the most powerful weapons in the world. It can be used to steal personal information, delete files, send out spam, and even hack into sensitive government or military systems. Hackers are also constantly trying to gain access to computers to steal and/or destroy information—and in the process, they can potentially ruin your life.
In the past, hacking was thought of as a child’s game, where you used your friends’ passwords to try to get into their computers. Today, it’s a completely different story. Some people make money by hacking into computers, and they use their skills to do it. You may not know that these people are very serious, and they shouldn’t be underestimated.
In recent years, there has been a rise in criminal activity linked to information technology–hacking, phishing, and other cyber-crimes. Attacks on personal data have become more common and more devastating, particularly in the area of corporate espionage. Hackers have even leveraged the Internet of Things to steal commercial secrets.
“Hacking can be more serious than you’d think.” A few years ago, cybersecurity was considered a serious, “real” threat. Nowadays, the word is being used interchangeably with the word “hack,” a slang term for a minor, quick fix. Cybersecurity has gotten more serious and serious enough to be included in the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Fiscal Year 2016 budget, and it’s only getting stronger. It’s important to understand just how serious cybersecurity is and the dangers it could cause to our national security.
We’ve all heard of hacking. We’ve all seen the movies with the white-hat hacker that breaks into the enemy’s computer and steals their secrets. We’ve all seen the black-hat hacker that steals credit card information and other personal information from websites, and we’ve all seen the grey-hat hacker that steals passwords and follows people around the internet to steal information about them.
Hackers are at the forefront of the digital revolution. As we’ve seen in recent months, their skills and abilities are often way more impressive than the average user’s. While it’s important to recognize that they’re not all fraudsters and cheats, it’s important to note that their activities can sometimes be more serious than you’d think.
These days, it’s not about how many computers you own; it’s about how valuable they are. Hackers these days are no longer interested in the everyday user who uses Windows XP. They are now looking for financial (in the form of, e.g., credit card numbers), military (weapons systems), and industrial (energy grids) targets. Hackers are now going after companies with millions of dollars in the bank and are looking to make a name for themselves without getting caught.
Hacking is often seen as a harmless activity that’s fun and can be used for good, but as you’ve probably noticed, it can also have serious consequences. There are so many exciting ways to hack, so many potential avenues for cybercriminals to commit crimes online, that every day it seems there’s a new exploit discovered. Online scams, identity theft, and online harassment are now some of the most widespread hacks and are only getting worse.
In today’s age, it’s very easy to be cyber stalked and even easier to fall victim to identity theft or having our personal data stolen. One of the ways that cybercriminals exploit our personal data is by hacking into companies and using our personal information. To make matters worse, they often sell our information to third parties without our consent. Now, before you start to feel too bad, let’s take a look at what you can do to prevent these attacks from happening in the first place.
Hacking has recently been on the rise, as demonstrated by the increasing frequency of data breaches, massive DDoS attacks, and ransomware going after major corporations and governments. Of course, since this is the internet, we could argue that hacking has always been important. But the problem with today’s hacking is that it’s more prevalent. We’re not just talking about stealing credit card numbers anymore. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated, and the tools they’re using to make things happen can be more dangerous.