In order to survive in the World Wide Web, there are certain things that we need to know in order to endure. The first one is that each computer user is responsible for his machine and the data that it contains. It doesn't matter if a transnational spends hundreds of millions of dollars in IT security if an absent-minded employee downloads and installs unauthorized software or falls into the email scheme of black hat hackers.
Basic Knowledge :
So, the first thing that we need to know is that computers, and networks, are like houses. If they don't have the windows and doors properly secured, anyone can enter. There are thousands of hackers in the internet looking for computers with unsecured entrances. Even worse, they have programs making the search for them. If you consider that there are hundreds of millions of computers in the world, then it is highly probable that an important percentage of them aren't properly secured.
In order to secure our "house", we need to have a firewall installed and properly configured. A firewall is like a lock that assures that all the entrances to your computer are properly closed, so no one from the outside can access it..
Anti Virus Software :
Another useful piece of software is the antivirus. Antivirus have been around since the first personal computers since viruses have always existed. Unfortunately, the internet has generated a demographic explosion and now they wander, freely, through the net. There are several software packages in the market, so test the ones with which you feel more comfortable and stay with the one that is more convenient for you.
Regular Updates :
The next step is to update your operating system, especially if it is Windows XP. Ninety percent of the worldwide operating system market is owned by Microsoft. For that reason, it is the preferred choice for crackers in the entire world. They are constantly looking for ways to bypass the security of this operating system, looking for weaknesses of all kind (even in something as innocent as the Media Player). In order to stop them, maintain your operating system updated.
Education in Security Techniques :
Finally, if you are inside a company, assure yourself that the users are trained. They must be able to detect if they are being victims of cracker scam. It can be through the internet messaging system, an email or even an innocent looking PowerPoint attachment sent by a friend. People are the last line of defense against black hat hacking.
Over time, black hat techniques have become more advanced and complex. Although there are computer software programs that can help a cracker in many ways, it is still a profession that requires a knack for computer software and hardware. So, as you may have noticed, black hat hackers will never disappear, which means that we need to have our computers, and our networks, prepared.