Nowadays we are very much dependent on our computers. Whether it is to check email, store personal files, information, pictures and videos or to surf the internet and access social networking sites. We also do banking and business related transactions online not to mention online shopping.

Our computers have personal details of our entire lives and also are the platform for us to communicate with the entire world. But are personal computers totally vulnerable to hackers? That is an important question to be asked in a world today where our computers have become such an essential part of our lives.

 

Who are Hackers?

· Basically the definition of a hacker is a person who can exploit the weakness of a computer system and gain access into the computer system. Hackers can be appointed by computer and software companies to try and hack through their computer systems to find and rectify weakness.

· These are white hat hackers. However black hat hackers or criminal hackers exploit weaknesses of computer systems and gain wrongful access into a computer system.

How Hackers Can Cause Trouble

· If a hacker has gained access to a computer system, then the hacker can use this access in a variety of criminal activities.

· The hacker can download personal or sensitive material or files, pictures and videos of personal events of a person directly from their computer from a distant location by gaining access to a person’s computer system.

· They can gain access to email and social networking site passwords and impersonate you on the internet and communicate with your friends, family and work colleagues.

· They can gain access to your cloud computing accounts and get personal information from there. Last year there was a much publicized case about hackers getting access to private accounts held by celebrities and leaking their photos online. Many top celebrities were targeted during this major hacker attack and hundreds of personal photos of celebrities were leaked online.

· Another way hackers can cause problems to your computer is to place bugs and viruses into a computer. Insuch cases, the computer crashes, slows down or causes different types of problems caused by bugs and viruses.

· Sometimes hackers access computers which have built-in cameras and can also turn on the cameras without anybody’s knowledge and have access to video feed from a personal computer.

Security against Hackers

· Top anti-virus security software that is regularly updated is your best bet against a hacker attack. Top quality antivirus software systems cost a lot of money but they are worth it as they protect your accounts and information on the personal computer.

· Also avoid keeping extremely sensitive information on the computers. Having hard copies of such information and going low tech is a great idea especially if you feel you are vulnerable to such a hacker attack.

Hackers are always going to be there online because we live in the real world, even if it is virtual on the computer. Checking the computer’s vulnerability and securing it as much as possible is a good idea.

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