Today, we will take you through some common Security Mistakes Hackers Look for and how you should avoid them. You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not if, but when.” And that’s especially true when it comes to cyberattacks. In this day and age, almost everyone is a target, and hackers are getting smarter and more sophisticated every day.
That’s why it’s so important to be proactive about your security and understand the most common security mistakes that hackers look for. If you can avoid making these mistakes, you’ll be much less likely to fall victim to a cyberattack.
So what are the most common security mistakes that hackers look for? And more importantly, how can you avoid them? Keep reading to find out.
Who is a hacker?
A hacker is a person skilled in information technology who uses their technical knowledge to achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle, within a computerized system by non-standard means. Though the term hacker has become associated in popular culture with a security hacker – someone who utilizes their technical know-how of bugs or exploits to break into computer systems and access data which would otherwise be inaccessible to them – hacking can also be utilized by legitimate figures in legal situations. For example, law enforcement agencies sometimes use hacking techniques in order to collect evidence on criminals and other malicious actors. This could include using anonymity tools (such as a VPN, or the dark web) to mask their identities online, posing as criminals themselves.
Likewise, covert world agencies can employ hacking techniques in the legal conduct of their work. On the other hand, hacking and cyber-attacks are used extra- and illegally by law enforcement and security agencies (conducting warrantless activities), and employed by state actors as a weapon of both legal and illegal warfare.
Black hat hackers
Black hat hackers are malicious hackers, sometimes called crackers. Black hats lack ethics, sometimes violate laws, and break into computer systems with malicious intent, and they may violate the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of an organization’s systems and data.
When white hat hacker discovers a vulnerability, they will exploit it only with permission and not tell others about it until it has been fixed. In contrast, the black hat will illegally exploit it or tell others how to do so. The grey hat will neither illegally exploit it nor tell others how to do so.
Common Security Mistakes Hackers Look for (And How to Avoid Them)
Weak Passwords: What Makes a Good Password?
When it comes to passwords, one of the most common mistakes people make is using weak passwords. A weak password is easy to guess, and a hacker only needs to gain access to your account once to wreak havoc.
So, what makes a good password? A good password is long, complex and unique. It should also be something you don’t use for other accounts. Here are a few tips for creating a strong password:
- -Use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols
- -Make it at least 8 characters long
- -Avoid using easily guessed words or phrases
Still can't create a good strong and secure password? Use our one-click online password generator tool for free.
Reusing Passwords: Don’t Be Lazy, Be Secure
One of the easiest ways to make yourself vulnerable to a hacker is to reuse passwords. Don’t be lazy—use different passwords for each site.
If you’re struggling to remember all of those passwords, try using a password manager like 1Password or LastPass. These programs will help you create and store strong, unique passwords for every site. And don’t worry, they’re encrypted so even if someone got their hands on your login information, they wouldn’t be able to access your passwords.
Not Updating Software: Outdated Security Measures
Are you still using outdated software? If so, you could be making yourself an easy target for hackers. Software updates often include security patches that fix vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. By not updating your software, you’re leaving your computer or device open to attack.
So make sure you’re always up-to-date with the latest software versions. It’s one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect yourself from hackers.
Sharing Too Much on Social Media: Setting Smart Privacy Settings
You might not think that what you share on social media could ever be used against you, but hackers are pretty resourceful. This counts as one of the most Common Security Mistakes Hackers Look for. They will comb through your entire social media history to find anything they can use, and if you’re not careful, you could be making yourself an easy target.
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So what should you do to avoid this? The first step is to understand the privacy settings for each social media platform you use, and then make sure you’re comfortable with who can and cannot see your posts.
For example, on Facebook, you can choose to make your profile completely public, which means anyone can see everything you’ve ever posted. Or, you can choose to keep your profile private, which means only people who are friends with you on Facebook will be able to see your posts.
There are also options in between, like making your profile visible to friends or friends, or making certain types of posts (like photos) visible to everyone while keeping other types of posts (like status updates) private.
It’s up to you to decide what level of privacy makes sense for you but err on the side of caution. If you’re not sure, it’s better to make your profile more private than less. You can always change your settings later if you want to share more.
Connecting to Public Wi-Fi: Understanding the Risks
You might not think twice about connecting to public Wi-Fi when you’re out and about, but the truth is, it’s one of the biggest security risks you can take.
When you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, you’re essentially opening yourself up to attack. That’s because these networks are usually unsecured, which means anyone can access them. And once they’re on the network, they can see all the traffic that’s passing through it.
That means they can see what websites you’re visiting, what files you’re downloading, and even what login credentials you’re using. And if they’re feeling extra nefarious, they could even inject malware into the network to infect your device.
So what can you do to protect yourself? The best thing is to avoid public Wi-Fi altogether. If you absolutely need to use it, make sure you’re using a VPN to encrypt your traffic. And be sure to avoid doing anything sensitive, like online banking or shopping, while you’re connected.
Not Encrypting Devices: Keeping Sensitive Data Safe
One of the most common security mistakes is not encrypting devices. When you don’t encrypt your devices, it’s like leaving the front door to your house unlocked—anyone can come in and take what they want.
And what hackers want is usually sensitive data like credit card numbers, passwords, and Social Security numbers. If they can get their hands on this information, they can use it to commit fraud or identity theft.
So how do you encrypt your devices? Well, there are a few different ways. One is to use a device encryption tool like BitLocker for Windows or FileVault for Mac. Another is to use a VPN, which encrypts all the data that are sent and received through your device. Either way, encrypting your devices is a crucial step in keeping them safe from hackers.
Not using 2F Authentication
While you might think of 2FA as nothing but an inconvenience, it is one of the most necessary security features you can use. It forces you to prove who you are via several means before logging into a system or account. It’s the same thinking between needing a key and a facial ID in physical security.
When hackers try to break into an account, the first thing they’ll run up against is 2FA. If you don’t activate 2FA, you’re making yourself an easy target. Hackers will breach your account, in many cases with little trouble.
99.9% of all accounts hacked are those that don’t bother to use 2FA. Shockingly, even business users don’t seem to use 2FA often enough. Only 11% of Microsoft Enterprise accounts have 2FA turned on, despite being used by many important companies.
Common Security Mistakes Hackers Look for: Conclusion
So, how can you protect yourself from becoming the victim of a cyber attack? Here are a few tips: