Hacking is an unfortunate part of our modern, connected, online lives. Criminals working online will look to capture your information to access your social media accounts, online banking or email contact lists. They use a few simple methods to harvest this data; here’s how.
These tools are installed to your computer and run every time you start your computer. It will log every key you press on your keyboard and create a log that can be downloaded remotely. The hacker will then review this information to look for patterns; such as combinations of words and numbers typed after, for example, your email address to try and get access to your accounts.
Remote Administration Tool (RAT)
Using a RAT a hacker can connect to your PC without you knowing and see what you are currently doing – whether that’s surfing, banking or working online. These will often have a built-in keylogger.
RAT stands for Remote Administration Tool. With RAT, a hacker can connect to your PC, without your knowledge. He can see what is going on the screen, what you are currently doing, which sites you surf. It also has the built-in functionality of keylogger and using this access a hacker could copy files directly from your own system to theirs.
This is the most common form of security issue and are often the result of downloading free software without measures in place to protect your computer. You may well get the free stuff you are looking far but you will also get one of these “Trojans” running in the background of your system. This tool can do far more than the other two threats we’ve already mentioned. To avoid contracting one only download genuine software and use secure browsing wherever possible.
How to protect yourself
There are some simple things you can do to keep your sensitive data safe. The most important is to install a good anti-virus programme. It’s a personal preference whether you choose a paid-for or free option but investing in the premium services pays off in the protection they offer. You should also always keep your Windows Firewall switched on; it filters many undesirable attacks on your system.
You also need to be aware of accepting files, even from sites that you trust. If you accept an.exe file when you are expecting a document; do not run it. This is an attempt to install software on your computer. And if you feel that despite your best efforts you’re contracted an infection on your PC then you should format the system, or seek professional advice on doing so. This requires preparation to transfer files and information but is the only way to be truly sure your computer is truly clean.