Internet security has now become a full fledged industry as there are a hell lot of hackers lurking on the Internet. The word hacker seems a bit too evil and depicts vengeance over the internet. Becoming a hacker is not rocket science; almost every other programmer can be regarded as a hacker. This is mainly due to the fact that hackers have an advanced understanding of computers and networks. There are wide debates as to the actual meaning of hacker. Hackers that hack with the intention stealing of things and information over the internet is better called a cracker. These stolen things and information can be in the form of personal information, credit card numbers, databases and not limited to email accounts.
These days hackers are only thought to be the evil side of the internet, but this is not the case. A lot of hackers these days are being inclined to join the good side of the internet due to the bug bounty opportunities. These are in fact the rewards given to hackers if they report the vulnerabilities of a specific website to the legal authorities. Due to these high rewards, all the hackers these days are being aroused by the challenge and monetary rewards and are becoming security researchers rather than becoming security stealers. But despite this, there are still a lot of black hat hackers lurking on the internet.
There are some hackers which hack normal email accounts by means of clever programming, phishing or scamming. Then there are a few large scaled hackers which hack into government related websites and also banking databases to steal money. A case comes to mind where hackers stole $45 million in under 10 hours. Although we have to come to terms to the fact that there are certain hackers on the internet that are nearly impossible to beat but as always, there are always a few safety precautions available which you can use to prevent yourself from these hackers.
Well in case you are also one of those frightened Internet users who never want to get their information hacked over the internet then here are a few safety precautions which you must keep in mind in order to prevent yourself from these hack-ery related traps.
Almost every type of information stored on the internet is protected by a password. And if a person tends to guess or hack your password then the information which will be leaked can be assumed as legal hacking. A lot of people around the internet keep their passwords short and simple so that they do not forget it. But this should not be the case because in order to stay safe from hacking – it is necessary to be clever with the passwords.
According to a research, the worst password is “password” and on the second note the easiest to guess is “yourname” (whatever it might be). Well in case you want to come up with a strong password then here are a few tips. Firstly make sure that you use a few upper case letters in your password, secondly – try to use space bars and symbols in your passwords because spaces and a few symbols do not show up in some of the hacking programs. In fact, you can just play around with your name to make a strong password for example john@th@n Tr0tt. Another rule of thumb is never ever use the same password again on other websites. This is to prevent one site from getting hacked and the hacker gaining your passwords to other websites as well. To understand how passwd files are cracked you can check out John the Ripper, arguably one of the most widely used passwd crackers out there.
Phishing is one of the easiest and the most used hacking technique out there. What the hacker does is that he prepares a fake login page of a website and then hosts it over a server. After the hosting, he derives a catchy link and spreads it over the internet or simply traps a person to open it. When the person opens it, he then thinks that he has to login (for example the fake page might be of Facebook). And right after the victim enter the email and password in to the fake page – the information is then obtainable by the hacker.
In other words; a person should never login via a link which is provided to you by strangers or even friends. This method is widely used via emails. Hoax emails notifying of changes that require you to click a link to login is a famous form of phishing. To best avoid phishing scams, common sense is key.
Nowadays, websites are being hacked a lot as well. It has been reported that there are scripts that can be installed on websites which will then redirect traffic to another website automatically. There are three things which a webmaster can do to avoid this.
Firstly, website owners should manage the comments efficiently. Most of the hackers leave comments on the blog in form of HTML codes, and these codes automatically install scripts on to your website. Therefore a webmaster should always read through the comment carefully before approving them.
Be careful with images
Secondly, another way which the hackers use to install scripts on your website is by putting malware into images. Whenever an author or a webmaster of a website upload images to his/her website the website has a possibility of getting hacked. Therefore one should always pick up images from trusted sources.
Don\’t keep typical usernames
Third, one should never use typical usernames. What most Website owners do is set up usernames such as admin. This is nothing but a clear example stupidity – it is just like you are presenting a pre-cooked cake to the hacker. Having usernames such as Admin or Administrator makes it easy for brute force attacks. Brute force attacks are attacks where hackers try to guess passwords to usernames.
There are many more solutions that you can deploy to keep yourself safe from hacking but the above are some common solutions that can keep you save, for now. But still, perhaps the best way is to become a hacker yourself.