How Hackers Pick Their Targets, and How You Can Stay Safe

Every day, you hear of hacking incidences and other malicious attacks targeting individuals, small businesses, governments, and large organizations. But, how do hackers operate? How can you make yourself less susceptible?

How Hackers Pick Their Targets

It is essential to understand the different types of hackers before knowing who they target. There are several varieties, each with unique motivations. 

The most popular type of hackers are activists, such as ‘Anonymous’. These often target people and organizations that contradict their viewpoint. They usually work by releasing incriminating information about their target, intending to tarnish the target’s reputation.

Other types of hackers are financially motivated cybercriminals. Many of them use social engineering tactics such as phishing to extort money from their targets. They might also deploy ransomware randomly to get the maximum payout possible for their actions.

Some hackers have specific targets, like high net-worth individuals and wealthy organizations. They usually use direct network intrusions and spear phishing to blackmail, defraud or steal from their targets. Most of these attacks target private organizations, as they tend to be richer than the public ones. 

Regardless of their motivation, a majority of hackers are lazy – they always aim for the easiest target. If they get two choices, they will choose the one with a weaker security system.

How to Prevent Hacking Incidents

Nowadays, hackers target all types of businesses, whether big or small. One data breach can cost as much as a million dollars. 

Keeping yourself and your business safe might seem challenging, but it is achievable. This notion is common among small business owners, as they believe that hackers target large corporations. In reality, hackers usually target the weakest option – those with guessable passwords and a lack of awareness of what they need to intrude on your network.

Here are a few tips on how to keep yourself safe from hackers.

Use a Strong Password

A majority of hacking incidents occur because of weak and guessable passwords. This is why you must not use your birthday or phone number as a password. More importantly, use different passwords for every site you sign up with.

Look at Web Addresses

There’s a significant difference between URLs that start with HTTP and HTTPS. The former is more vulnerable to attacks than the latter. If you have to enter sensitive information like credit card details, ensure that the web address has HTTPS as its prefix.

Update Software Regularly

Software updates are useful in fixing potential security threats. When you fail to update your software, you expose yourself to malicious attacks, such as ransomware, malware, and cybercriminals who want to gain control of your system.

Encryption

Encryption ensures that hackers don’t understand your data, even if they manage to access it. This is why you need to hire companies that deal with IT network security. They’ll implement encryption techniques like SHA and MD5 to ensure that your data remains safe at all times.

Cyber-attacks can cripple your business. Don’t hold back from implementing the safety measures mentioned above. More importantly, always stay updated on the recent developments in the industry.