The Internet has become a vital part of any business, and the constant examples of computer hacking which are brought to our attention through the media and the experiences of our friends, family and colleagues can be quite scary. We all want our businesses to be protected from malicious activity on the Internet – but how concerned should we be, and how can we take simple measures to protect ourselves and our businesses?
The level of security needed and the level of concern you should hold is really based on the personal circumstances of your business and the type of data you are trying to protect. Should someone break through the security, what do you stand to lose? If you are talking about a blog, or a simple website, the data can be changed quickly and won’t cause you any long term difficulties; but if you are trying to protect client databases including customer’s personal details, credit card and bank details, then your business stands to take a big hit if someone manages to get through your security measures.
The term hacking itself is usually misattributed. Hacking refers to subverting computer security, and while people may feel that their privacy has been violated, it is not malicious. The act of maliciously subverting computer security for the purpose of such things as theft of information, distribution of harmful software or simply just with the intent of causing a disruption and annoyance, is called Cracking. A further point of confusion is that the vast majority of ‘hacking’ reports that we hear about from acquaintances are neither hacking nor cracking, but simply using people’s passwords to gain access to their systems.
It sounds simple, but the most effective way to protect your business online is by choosing a secure password and keeping it completely to yourself. Passwords are frequently disclosed to others both intentionally and unintentionally, but you can protect yourselves in the following ways: