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Personal Digital Security & Online Safety in 2022

In an increasingly digital world, protecting yourself and your family online is more crucial than ever. Learn about all of your options for keeping yourself and your loved ones safe while online.

It’s easy to understand why you need home security to safeguard your home, but defending oneself online is more difficult to comprehend. But consider this: you go online every day, numerous times a day, and you use a lot of personal information while doing so, from your name to your email address to your bank account information and pretty much everything else in your life. However, 66 percent of small business thought leaders believed that cyberattacks were improbable, significantly underestimating the threats at hand. The truth is that more than 17% of people say they have been victims of a cyberattack, and another 16.5 percent are unsure, which is potentially just as concerning. Like your home, you should start thinking about digital security, but thankfully, our specialists have done the most of the heavy job for you.

 

What Exactly Is Digital Security?

In a word, digital security is the protection of your computer, mobile devices, tablets, and any other Internet-connected devices from intruders such as hacking, phishing, and other forms of fraud. Digital security might also be used to keep firms from using and selling your personal information. VPNs, password managers, and identity monitoring services are just a few ways to keep yourself safe online. First, let’s go over the threats in greater detail.

What Exactly Is Hacking? And What You Can Do To Avoid It

When you hear the word “hacker,” you usually picture a guy in a black hoodie hunched over a computer, furiously typing code. While this is true for some hackers, they come in different forms, sizes, and levels of ethics. But, before we get there, we’d like to address the broad topic on everyone’s mind: what is hacking?

 

What Exactly Is Hacking?

Hacking is the activity of breaking into computer systems and exploiting their vulnerabilities using technological knowledge. The hacker, or the person who commits the hack, may restrict system access, collect data within the system, or obtain access to other devices on the same network.

 

Hacker Subtypes

As previously said, not all hackers are made equal. They are typically classified into three types: white hats, black hats, and grey hats.

  • White Hat Hackers: White hat hackers are ethical penetration testers who are often employed by the companies they hack into. Yes, you read that correctly. Companies actually engage hackers to uncover security flaws in their systems before the bad guys do. White hat hackers can be engaged on a contract basis, full-time, or through bug bounty programs, in which a corporation pays anyone who discovers a vulnerability. The gig economy has even had an impact on cybersecurity!

  • Hackers with a black hat: In a similar vein, black hat hackers are frequently portrayed in films as the “evil guys.” They unlawfully hack into systems for personal benefit, generally stealing financial or personal information in order to steal money and identities.

  • Gray Hat Hackers: Hacking, like everything else in life, has a gray area. While gray hat hackers may not have harmful intents, they are less concerned with respecting the law and may hack into a company’s system without permission. However, unlike a black hat hacker, the motivation for the hack would be different. Believe it or not, it could be for the benefit of the company.

 

Hacker Types

Along with these types of hackers come different types of hacks, which can be divided into two categories.

  • Zero-Day Hacks: These are vulnerabilities that the firm has never encountered before. In reality, the organization may be unaware that it has been hacked. Black hat hackers typically save zero-day exploits for firms that might benefit them directly, whether it’s an international business or a national security system. These are the groups that offer large cash gains if you don’t get caught.

  • Other Types of Hacks: Every other sort of hack frequently employs what is known as a script kiddie, pre-existing software that does not require any programming ability to attack a system. Unlike zero-day hacks, script kiddies are relatively straightforward to defend against if the program has been updated5. So, regardless of how inconveniently timed they may be, make sure to perform those software updates! 

 

How Does Hacking Work?

How do these hackers discover system flaws, exploit them, and profit personally? Three key routes dominate:

  • The simplest approach to hack an account or system is through social engineering. Simply request the user’s password! This could come in the form of phishing or spam phone calls, so be cautious about who you provide your credentials to. Once a hacker obtains your password, he or she can quickly obtain your credit and debit card information, social security number, and other sensitive information.

  • Hacking Through Programming: Programming-based hacking is more advanced than social engineering in that it needs the hacker to uncover weaknesses in a system and take over all administrator access.

  • Physical accessibility: Of course, having physical access to a computer or system over an extended period of time may be the simplest way to hack into it. We beg you to be cautious with your belongings and perhaps consider investing in a home security system.

 

Why Is Hacking Harmful? (And Good)

Hacking, like any other ability, can be used for both good and evil. Let us begin with the negative. Non-ethical hackers are capable of:

  • Take credit card information, personal information, login credentials, and other information.

  • Attack other countries’ national security

  • Infect computers with malware

  • Change or delete data

Ethical hackers, on the other hand, can employ hacking for the following purposes:

  • Hacktivism, which refers to political or social issues

  • Increasing the security of websites or apps.

 

Managers of Passwords

One of the most inconvenient aspects of technology is having to remember so many different passwords for various accounts. Furthermore, each account is likely to have its own set of rules, such as the requirement for special characters, the prohibition of digits, the prohibition of repeated letters, and other restrictions, making it much more difficult to remember everything. And the procedure of resetting your password is tedious, especially since you’ll most likely forget it again!

 

Recap

Being online does not have to be frightening. There are numerous solutions available to safeguard you online, such as VPNs, password managers, identity monitoring services, and simply changing the settings on your devices. Knowing how to surf the web safely is the first step toward safeguarding your personal information. Check out our guides to the top VPNs and identity monitoring services, which have all been tried and tested by our specialists.