The “Hack Attack”. Helpful Advice from Sharn.

Being a victim of computer hacking is a serious threat to face. Computer hacking is done by a third party attempting to exploit a weakness in a computer network. Once they have taken access to your computer the hackers gain access to all of your files and documents. This can be done for various intentions including profit, enjoyment, and even surprisingly to remove those weakness. Regardless of the reason, not having access to your files can put your personal and or business information at great risk.

One specific form of computer hacking is a software called ransomware. Ransomware is a software that hacker’s use to hold individuals’ data hostage by blocking access to files unless they agree to pay a ransom. This computer hacking process is becoming more common as businesses and consumers utilize the internet on personal computers as well as their mobile devices.

One common misconception is that once your computer is hacked, there isn’t much that can be done about it. This was seen in an article published by PBS News Hour on Inna Simone of Boston, MA. Inna was a victim of ransomware in which all of her files including her; tax returns, financial papers, letter, and even photos, were locked. As a result, Inna paid her hackers the demanded amount of $500 by the deadline that was given. “But what else?” stated Inna, “I mean this is the only option. It’s either this or nothing”. (PBS, 2015)

That however is not true. President Roger Wandersee of Sharn Enterprises Inc. can vouch to the fact that there are other options other than giving in to the ransom amount. He himself was a victim of computer hacking on his personal home computer. Fortunately, Roger was aware and took action towards preserving his personal files, and documents.

Computer users have many options of different ways to back up stored information or data from your computer. In Roger’s case he utilized an external hard drive. An external hard drive works just as the hard drive on your personal computer or laptop, only this is not permanently connected to your computer. Therefore, it could never be subjected to being hacked by any third parties. Other ways of backing up your stored information is by the use of a thumb or flash drive, and even more conveniently, using cloud storage. Cloud storage can hold a large capacity of information and data and can be accessed from application programming interface (API).

Computer keyboard

If ever you do become targeted by hackers you also have the option of restoring your computer back to factory settings now that all of your files & information are backed up. This will bring your computer back to the original condition it was in when it was purchased. Doing so can remove all files and threats that are on your computer. Also, if you remembered to save your program installation disks, those too can be restored back on the computer.

Taking precaution by backing up data, and even having virus protection software installed on your computer at the time of purchase can greatly protect you from the threat of computer hacking and the damage it can cause.

(Credit: William Brangham: PBS News Hour: The Hack Attack via PBS)

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