If you thought the internet has made our lives a lot easier, do think again. It is true that we can get the data that we want so much more easily, but, with each passing second that we spend online, we present ourselves to just about anybody to invade our privacy. And if you think you are safe, it is time for a reality check..
Hacking is a reality that every internet user has to deal with. The problem is, hacking is so simple that just about anyone can do it, and take complete control of your computer. There is no particular website that puts you at greatest risk, but the easiest manner is through everybody’s favorite friend: the instant messenger services. In fact, it is so simple, that all I need to do to gain complete access to your computer is send you a file through a messenger, which would allow me to get your IP Address. Next thing you know, I can open and close your CD tray at will, send you petrifying error messages, switch off your computer, get a copy of everything you type, or, if I feel like having some fun, change the left click on your mouse to right click and vice versa.
These are just a few of the various possibilities. There was a case a few years ago when some pornographic material of a lady living in Mumbai was put up on the site, when a hacker had “switched on” the lady’s webcam without her knowledge, and had streamed the scenes live over the internet. How easy it is for someone to switch on your webcam? Let’s just say trigonometry is a lot, lot more difficult.
So, what can you do to protect yourself, besides the obvious, like not visiting insecure websites and opening files sent by unknown people?
First, get yourself a firewall. Go to Google, search for Zonealarm, which is free of cost. Then, get yourself AntiSpyware. Although most people think antivirus is sufficient, it is not so. And when you are using much more sensitive data, like online banking, use any of the online Proxy servers. What proxy servers basically do is hide your true IP Address, thereby making it impossible for anyone to hack into your computer.
The next time you are using your credit card on the internet, make sure that you first visit the website http://www.anonymizer.ru/ . It is a Russian website, so you are not going to understand anything written on it, but you will notice a bar on the top of your screen which would look like a toolbar (it would have “http://” already typed), where you need to type in the desired URL. The browsing would slow down, but the security increases multifold.
If hacking is easy, protecting oneself from hacking is probably easier, and is very, very important. Start now.
[Image Source:http://flickr.com/photos/juan23/82888194/ ]