I’m writing this blog to talk about hackers and the effects they can have on you and your businesses.
I can not stress the importance of protecting yourself against hackers, as a few people I know have experienced, the results can be devastating.
Hackers don’t care what damage they do to you or to others, they love that fact they can cause you harm and upset. They are a bit like a key board warrior, with nothing better to do with their time but to start trouble.
Recently my friend was hacked and this cause a lot of trouble and upset not only for him but for his business too. My friend didn’t realise he had been hacked till it was too late, and after the fact he admitted that he had left himself wide open to being hacked.
The hacker in this case, went into a group and purposely started trouble with anyone, saying some really nasty stuff. The people on the other end didn’t realise this was a hacker, and were blaming my friend. They looked in to my friend’s background, saw he works with kids and due to the comments in this group felt it was inappropriate for him to do so. They went on to his business page and started putting bad reviews but also screen shots from comments that the hacker had made in the group.
This, of course, had a massive impact on my friends business and he had no choice but to turn reviews off and stay off social media for a period of time till it died down.
I didn’t believe what these reviews were saying, so I looked in to these people who had made them. I discovered which group it was and knew a friend that was in this group, so I asked for his help. He contacted the groups admin team to get their assistance in sorting out the confusion over the comments ownership.
Speaking to my friend we discussed how he had left himself wide open and it was important to protect him self, not just for his own sake but that of his business.
So, a massive shout out to Andrew at ADM security for all your help.
Now here are a few things you need to do to help you protect yourself and your business.
Change your passwords every couple of months. Make sure to vary the password as well, if you use the same password for everything, then hackers can easily access everything from your social media accounts, emails and even your bank accounts.
Your profile doesn’t need to be made public, keep it to friends only. Even though you do not post personal things, it is still beneficial to keep your account blocked so fewer details are accessible. We have all seen the advert on TV where through a Facebook image someone was able to identify the date of birth and full name of an individual to commit identity theft – don’t let this be you.
You can set your profile with security settings, to protect you if any one does try to hack you. A notification is sent to your phone with an access code. If you didn’t request it, you can lock your account down. Simply go to your security and login settings.
Also check you’re the settings for ‘where you’re logged in’ this will show you what devices have been login and their locations. If you do not recognise any of them then sign out of them, and change your password.
Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your Profile?
This is your choice whether you do or don’t, but make sure you check all your security settings on all your social media accounts and on the website you link to. If it is your own website, then make sure you have any additional security that your hosting provider offers installed and an SSL certificate to protect your visitors as well.
Google actually now marks all websites that do not have an SSL certificate whether you take personal data or not. In regards to personal data, with GDPR coming in to affect May 2018 you will need to protect your website even more so to avoid putting your customer’s data at risk. Those that do not protect themselves and their customers data can be at risk of large fines.
Here is the link from the Google Security blog about the changes to their listings: https://security.googleblog.com/2018/02/a-secure-web-is-here-to-stay.html
I can’t stress this enough, protect yourself and your business.