This article will focus on topics related to computer security (e.g. privacy, networking,

passwords, etc.). After reading this article, you will know how to protect yourself from

other hackers. You will also know how to execute attacks against the defenses of your

targets. You must read this material carefully: computer security is important for the

“offense” and “defense” of hacking.

Passwords

You should treat security as an important part of using a computer. You are probably using

the internet to perform a research, read your emails, buy stuff, or sell your own

merchandise. These things have become easier because of computers and networks.

However, this convenience comes with a hefty price: lack of security.

The following tips will help you in protecting yourself from hackers:

Don’t share your usernames and passwords to anyone (not even your closest

friends).

Read the security/privacy policies of each site that you will access before entering

personal data.

Don’t buy anything from untrusted sites. The last thing you want to do is give your

money and/or financial information to unscrupulous individuals. If you want to buy

something online, look for trustworthy sites such as www.amazon.com and

www.ebay.com.

Do not share the login credentials of your email accounts with other people. Some

emails contain private and/or confidential information.

Keep in mind that keeping your passwords secret isn’t enough. A hacker can still access

that piece of information through a keylogger. Basically, a keylogger is a program that

records all the keys that you press. To protect your computer from keyloggers, you should:

Make sure that your computer’s firewall is on

Run spyware/adware scanners on a regular basis

Use an on-screen keyboard to enter your login credentials

Install an anti-malware program on your machine

Malware

The term “malware” refers to programs that are designed to “infect” an electronic device

(e.g. computer, tablet, smartphone, etc.). Let’s discuss the different types of malware:

Viruses

Basically, viruses are computer programs that infect other programs. Most viruses run

only when the program they infected runs. This is the main reason why viruses are hard to

detect. A virus has two parts: the “infector” and the “payload”. Keep in mind, however,

that the payload is not required. That means a harmless program is still a virus if it

attaches itself to a trusted computer program.

Trojans

This term came from the legendary “Trojan Horse”, a large wooden horse that spelled

doom for Troy. In hacking, a Trojan is a program that contains other programs. The

“container” is typically harmless. In fact, it can be a program that attracts unsuspecting

users. Once a person downloads and installs a Trojan program, the malware inside will

spread in the target machine.

Spyware

This is one of the most dangerous malware out there. Basically, spyware records the

activities you do on your computer and transmits the data to the hacker. This data

transmission occurs via the internet. Hackers divide spyware into two types: harmless and

harmful. Harmless spyware focuses on non-confidential data (e.g. the websites you visit).

Harmful spyware, on the other hand, collects confidential information (e.g. passwords).

Adware

Basically, adware is a form of malware that shows advertisements on a person’s computer.

This malware becomes extremely active whenever the infected machine is online.

It is true that adware is one of the safest forms of malicious programs. However, it can be

frustrating if a pop-up advertisement will appear whenever you click on a browser.

How to Fight Malicious Programs

Staying away from unscrupulous sites can help you prevent malware infection. However,

it is likely that some malicious programs will still latch onto your machine. It would be

best if you will install a reputable anti-malware program and scan your computer

regularly. Here are some of the most popular antivirus programs today:

Norton Security

AVG Internet Security

Avast Antivirus

McAfee Antivirus

Important Note: If you’re an active internet user, you should scan your computer for

malware at least once a week. Adjust this frequency to twice or thrice a week if you’re

dealing with confidential information.

Web Security

Hacking and digital security are not limited to computers. These topics also apply to

websites. In this part of the book, you’ll learn a lot about the basic defenses of a website.

You can use this information to protect your site from hackers or launch attacks against

your targets.

The Fundamentals

Website security consists of two aspects: internal and external. The internal aspect refers

to the nature of the information you are handling. For instance, your website is secure if

you are not dealing with confidential data. Few hackers would attack your site if they

won’t benefit from it. The external aspect, on the other hand, involves the settings of your

website, the applications you installed on it, and the codes you used in creating it.

How to Keep a Website Secure

The best way to keep a site secure is by turning it off. This way, hackers won’t have any

way to access your files. If you need a live website, however, you should minimize the

open ports and services that you offer. Unfortunately, these options are not applicable for

most businesses and organizations. That means a lot of websites are prone to hacking

attacks.

Important Note: Websites that have open ports, services, and different scripting languages

are vulnerable to hackers. That’s because a hacker can use a port, service, or computer

language to bypass the defenses of a website.

You can protect your site by updating all of its applications regularly. You also need to

apply security updates and patches on your website.

Website Vulnerabilities

Here’s a basic truth: your website has vulnerabilities. It can be an open port, an active

service, or a fault in the code used in crafting your site. These vulnerabilities serve as

doors that hackers can use to get inside your network or server. In addition, hackers tend

to share their knowledge with others. If a hacker detects a vulnerability in a popular app or

website, it’s likely that he will share the information with others. He might also create a

hacking tool for that target and distribute the former to his “brothers” and/or “sisters”.

It’s important to keep yourself updated with the latest vulnerabilities of your systems. Get

the latest patch for your website whenever possible.

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