7 quick things a hacker can do on your computer

Imagine if a hacker managed to gain access to your computer, how would you feel? Do you think that hackers only really attack large companies? The truth is, they can also target your own personal computer.

Of course, they can’t do anything until they get “inside” your computer, but there are plenty of ways they can make that happen and they can make it happen very quickly.

Today’s hackers are automated.

When you think of a hacker you think that they get lucky when they get into a computer and whoever they target is just a unlucky victim who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time.
That’s not the case at all.

Hackers rely on sophisticated software to help them scan thousands of computers at a time.

One of the tools a hacker uses sends out packets of data to probe computers and find out if there are any vulnerable ports available that are ripe for exploitation. All computers have ports that are open when they’re on the Internet. The ports accept different types of data from different sources—think of them as different doors in a house.

The hacker takes over.

Can you imagine a thief—sitting in front of your computer, going through your files and doing whatever they want? That’s what happens once a hacker has control of your computer.

A horrible feeling right?

It’s as if they’re sitting in your cosy computer chair, using your computer and seeing all of your data and files on your computer monitor. And you have no idea that this is going on and I bet you have no idea what you would do if you knew.

The hacker could be anywhere, across the street, across the country or even across the other side of the world. No matter where they are, they can copy photos from your computer onto theirs, or delete whatever they want. They can steal your personal data or delete programs you have on your computer.

Worse yet, they can download more viruses.

Like looking in your underwear drawer.

A sophisticated hacker might be able to find out all kinds of personal information about you.

How much?

Well, that will be depend on how well you protect yourself by making smart decisions online. For example:
• Do you keep your passwords secret, or write them down and store them on your computer?
• Do you have a habit of keeping browser windows open on websites, windows that reveal your bank account or credit card numbers?
• Do you make digital images of bank or credit card statements and store them in an easy-to-get-to folder on your computer?
Skilled hackers could gain access to the following:
• Your credit card numbers
• Your bank account
• Your Social Security number
And with that information in hand, they’re well on their way to stealing your identity…if that was their initial goal. Or maybe they’ll just ask your credit card company to up your credit limit to £5,000—so they can buy some expensive merchandise online.

Stealing passwords.

If a hacker only knows the username to your bank or credit card accounts, there’s not much damage they can do. However, if they also know your passwords, your accounts could be fully compromised.

With both hijacked usernames and stolen passwords, the hacker could go online—at any time—to impersonate you digitally and use your credit accounts for anything they want. So watch out for a very expensive Amazon bill!

7 quick things a hacker can do on your computer infographic

Stealing programs…or storing them.

Hackers are friendly with other hackers…and they like to share what they find with them.

So it’s no surprise that hackers have been known to store stolen software programs on the computers of their victims. The hacker then lets his cronies know where they can find the free software—on your computer. So now the number of hackers that are coming through your computer port increases!

Your computer can be used to attack other computers.

Sometimes hackers will take over a computer, sometimes thousands of them, to launch an attack on a website they’ve targeted. It could be a company or government agency they have a beef with, or a popular website they simply want to take offline for a day.

When the security specialists start searching for the online culprits, the digital/electronic trail will lead to the computers of innocent, and totally unaware, victims. Meanwhile, the hacker or hackers go unidentified…that is, until they boast about their joke.

So what can you do to avoid hackers? Follow the time-tested tips you probably hear all the time:

  • Don’t open any suspicious emails.
  • Secure your home network, especially if you use Wi-Fi.
  • Use a VPN when you take your laptop to a coffeehouse, airport or hotel.
  • Be careful when you’re online. Avoid websites you’re not familiar with.
  • Keep your antivirus software up to date.
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