Opening the Door to a Hacker

We use our computers and other devices every day. Often, we use them to access valuable financial and personal information. Just as often, we are using the same device for work, bill paying, and online searches. Accessing bank and other sensitive sites without appropriate security is just like opening the door to a hacker. 

For weeks, many workers have been unable to work from the office due to COVID-19. That means that they could be working outside the protection of their employer’s computer security, opening the door to hackers even wider. So how can you and workers on your team close the door to hackers, no matter where they are located and what devices they use?

Follow these five tips to close the door to hackers:

  • Anti-Virus Software

Anti-virus software scans computer files or memory for certain patterns that may indicate the presence of malicious software. Anti-virus vendors find new issues and update malware daily, so it is important that you have the latest updates installed on your computer. Set security software to automatically receive and download the latest updates so that it is always current.

  • Firewalls

Firewalls provide protection against hackers by shielding your computer or network and preventing malicious software from accessing your systems. Firewalls can be configured to block data from certain suspicious locations or applications while allowing relevant and necessary data through.

  • Phishing emails

Never, never, ever open a suspicious email or click on a link from an unknown source. You could be a target of a phishing attack and your data could be compromised. Same thing goes for clicking on links in pop-up windows and downloading “free” software from a pop-up. You could be installing the spyware that the pop-up claims to be eliminating. 

  • Public Wi-Fi

Avoid using public hot sites. The money you save on your service plan is not worth opening the door to a hacker. Due to its unsecure nature, online access that you can snag from a business down the street should not be used to pay bills or open confidential client files. Hackers can also masquerade as a public hot site and intercept whatever valuable information they can.

  • Two-Factor Authentication

Many providers now offer two-factor authentication protections to add an extra layer of security. Returning users must enter username and password plus another step, such as entering a security code sent via text. A hacker with your username and password is unlikely to also have the device needed to receive the code and complete the process.

Follow these five tips, and you and your workers will close the door to hackers, no matter where they are located and what devices they use.