We often think of hackers as loners, but the reality is that cybercrime has evolved into an advanced and collaborative ecosystem. Hackers can have a variety of motivations, from economic gain to political goals. Knowing what they’re after can assist you in preventing attacks and put systems in place to protect your small-scale business.

Some hackers use their expertise to gain a profit, identifying security holes and reporting them to fix them. They are referred to as white hat hackers and they’re typically paid by the businesses they work for to conduct penetration tests. Certain hackers are more dangerous such as those who steal personal data to commit credit card fraud, identity theft, or use viruses to make unauthorized payments or to shut down devices.

A strong password is the primary line of defense in your fight against hackers. Adding two-factor authentication to sites such as social media and banking will increase your security. Encrypting your hard drive is a easy way to stop hackers from accessing your sensitive data even if they manage to get into your device. Finally, keep your operating system, browsers and other important applications up-to-date regularly. Most devices will automatically download updates, which can be able to fix software vulnerabilities that could otherwise allow hackers to gain access to or steal information.

We live in a time where we’re constantly connected to our phones, computers, and tablets. Hackers are seeking information that you give out online. It’s tempting to loose your guard and give away too much. Avoid using public Wi-Fi to shop and accessing personal accounts. Also, don’t keep any account open for all time.