Gone are the days when burglars would smash a window or break a door to get into a house and take away people’s precious belongings. Nowadays, crimes in this nature are committed in cyberspace without even leaving a trace in the physical world. Cybercrime has become so sophisticated that cybercriminals like hackers can literally steal your hard-earned money or valuable personal data without showing up on your doorstep. They can just sit quietly behind a desk, tap away at a computer and watch your every move in secret. One click is all it takes for them to gain access to your network. The next thing you know, your security is in tatters and your privacy is in the hands of the wrong people.
The truth is no one is 100% immune from being a target for cybercriminals. As a blogger or a social media account user like Facebook, when you put yourself out there, the information posted online or shared in public can be collected and studied by cybercriminals. Their premeditated attacks are aimed at stealing your money and/or identity. The stakes are so high that we cannot afford to take chances and only deal with it when it happens.
The reason for writing this post is to educate and remind readers about the dangers of hacking and serious damage hackers can do to you once they gain an unlawful entry to your computer devices. Why do I care so much about this issue? Because it happened to me a couple of years ago. Knowing how bad it was, I don’t wish anyone to go through a similar experience like mine. So, how it started is one day I received an unsolicited email that looked seemingly legitimate. Although I remained a bit guarded and skeptical about it at first, I was fooled to click the malicious link that gave a hacker an indefinite remote access to the computer I was using. The following few days I began to notice something fishy was going on particularly when I was doing some online transactions. For example, my mouse wasn’t moving as freely as usual. By the time I reported this incident, damage had already been done. The length I had to go through to clean up the computer and repair the disease infected by hacking was astonishing. Because it was so badly damaged, at the end I had no choice but to give up the computer altogether.
What I learnt from this experience is:
- Hackers don’t just contact you out of blue, they do their homework and study your online behavioral patterns way before they send you an invitation.
- Hackers will lure you with a bait and ask you to click a link to view more details. That’s a red flag.
We live in the digital age that there’s a tone of information coming to us from all different corners of the world at any give time. It’s natural that we don’t want to miss out on anything important or valuable. But not everything is as pure and innocent as they claim themselves to be. As we conduct more and more businesses on line and share our personal lives unreservedly in cyberspace, cybercriminals will always look for opportunities to launch their attacks. Make sure we exercise caution and stay vigilant. If need be, press “Delete” button first before hackers have a chance to press your buttons…