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The Top 10 Ways Hackers Get Into Computers and Other Devices

Cybersecurity is by far one of the best investments you can make for your small business. Hackers are getting faster, smarter, and sneakier than ever. A massive ransomware attack in July struck over 1500 businesses, leaking consumer and company data alike to the hands of those who would use it to do harm to others.

How Hackers Get You Inside Your Computer

If that doesn't have you wanting to invest in IT security ASAP, then perhaps a deeper understanding of the techniques that put your business at risk will. Here are 10 of the most common hacking techniques that will put your company at risk!

1. Go Phish

Phishing is one of the most common hacking methods used these days. In a phishing attack, the hacker spoofs an email from a site the user often visits and baits them into clicking the link with social engineering. This often takes the form of a company your business uses demanding payment for a service that you don't recall purchasing.

Make sure you know the emails of the businesses your company partners with to the letter, as these spoofed emails can look legitimate at a first glance.

2. The Old Bait and Switch

The bait and switch technique is as old as the art of the con. In the digital version of this classic scheme, hackers buy ad space on large websites. These advertisements seem legitimate enough to fool the partner website, but when you click on that link, you get redirected to a page loaded with malware and viruses.

These programs will give the hacker unrestricted access to your computer's data, placing you and your customers at increased risk for cybersecurity attacks.

3. Malware

Malware is an all-inclusive term that encompasses a variety of common hacking techniques, including the aforementioned ransomware, viruses, and Trojans. While a decent anti-malware program can catch many of these hacking techniques, your business may need more help. We at VRI have dedicated cybersecurity solutions to help you.

4. Hands in the Cookie Jar

Almost every website you visit nowadays asks you to allow access to your browser's cookies in order to proceed. However, this process leaves businesses and private users susceptible to cybersecurity attacks. Cookies store all sorts of personal data, and if a hacker gets access to yours, they can authenticate themselves as you to other sites.

This is why it's so crucial for your business's website to have encryption active. Especially if you process payments through your website.

5. Social Engineering

One of the most effective hacking methods doesn't involve cracking your computers. It involves cracking you or your employees. Social engineering involves an extended performance or deception intended to pry personal information or business data from you. Larger companies can see this in the form of someone claiming to have lost their ID and need to log in.

However, smaller businesses are not immune to this form of meatspace hacking. So, make sure your employees know not to release any personal information to those who don't own it.

6. Fake WAP

No, this isn't a Cardi-B reference. This refers to a fake Wireless Access Point that's been set up by a hacker to dupe businesses and other users into accessing it, giving them access to their information or their systems. This often occurs in unsecured public areas like hotels, coffee shops, and airports. So, make sure you verify the name of all networks with the business owner.

And, of course, don't browse public access points without a VPN.

7. Your Service Has Been Denied

Distributed Denial-of-Service or simply Denial-of-Service attacks function by overloading your system with inane requests, preventing you from getting anything done.

Do you know how you can't focus on anything with your dog constantly demanding your attention? DoS/DDoS attacks are the digital equivalent of that situation.

Worse, hackers can automate these types of cybersecurity attacks, making it hard to see where the problem is coming from. This attack can cripple your Boise business, no matter what industry you work in.

8. Logging Your Keystrokes

You might think that such an obvious IT security risk would never find its way onto your computer. No one would willingly download a program that logged their every keystroke, right? Unless it was required by their business as a part of their monitoring to work from home.


As you might expect, hackers have found ways to turn the keyloggers used by employers to track their employees' WFH time into personal data mines. Once that keylogger is on your computer, everything you input, from customer information to your credit card number is a free game for the hackers.

9. Don't Get Clickjacked

Clickjacking attacks are particularly pernicious among hacking techniques, as many safe websites might not even be aware of the existence of clickjacking on their page. As with any type of hijacking, this type of cybersecurity attack tricks a user into clicking something on the webpage that performs a different function than advertised.

These types of attacks run rampant on websites with illegal torrents of movies, shows, and applications. They're especially hard to spot when on mobile devices.

10. Exploiting Open Weaknesses

Be honest: How secure are the passwords your IT department uses? How often do you leave that password data on a Post-It Note on your desk so you don't forget it? Do you lock your computer screen each time you step away for a bathroom break?

Hackers don't always have to rely on weaknesses in servers or networks to strike. If your passwords are too simple, too easy to guess, or laid out in plain sight, hackers can use that to steal your company's information in a flash.

Need Protection from Hacking?

We've Got You Covered

No one can defend themselves against every one of the hacking techniques we've covered. No matter how careful or paranoid you may be, hackers can and will find a way if you go it alone. That's why we at VRI Technology are dedicated to helping Boise business owners secure their customers' data.

If you're ready to shore up your cybersecurity solutions, don't hesitate. Visit our resource guide or give us a call today to set up a consultation!

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