White NRA Horizontal logo


The Digital Business Kit for Retailers

Learning Outcomes

Retailers will gain an understanding of the different online Security and privacy risks and opportunities to address these. [printfriendly]

mod-arrow Hackers

dart icon and bannerThere are a number of definitions of a computer hacker, such as a person who:

  • Creates and modifies computer software and hardware, including computer programming, administration, and security-related items.
  • Enjoys exploring the details of computers and how to stretch their capabilities.
  • Enjoys learning the details of programming systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.

Hacking can be done for either negative or positive reasons. Criminal hackers create malware in order to commit crimes.

Positive hackers: Hackers who “hack” programs and systems for good purposes can create new uses for systems and expand working systems. There are often “hacker groups” in communities, and these can be good sources of technology resources.

Criminal hackers: Hack systems for malicious purposes to steal money, data, customer information and more. These hackers also create the viruses, trojans and worms, as well as other malware that attack systems in the business and the general population. These hacks can be directed at specific organisations, such as a bank or the general population. The malware may have obvious criminal purposes like sending valuable data to the hacker or to just cause damage to any infected system with no monetary reward to the hacker.

How to tell if your computer has been hacked?

It is possible your computer will be hacked. Hackers can get into your computer in all different ways and you need to understand and address the situation as soon as you can. Look in the resource section on “How to tell if your computer has been hacked?”

What to do if you think your system has been hacked?

There are steps you can take if you think you have been hacked. Look at our resource section “What to do if you think your system has been hacked?” Once you have secured your system ask yourself “Why was I hacked?”

How do you protect your company against hackers?

There are general processes for protecting against hackers. Visit the resource page for being hacker proof, anti virus, firewall and other tools. Here is a basic list from Secpoint :

  1. Windows Updates: Let’s face it, the many different iterations of the world’s best-selling operating systems (OS) have all been targeted by hackers so often that it’s become a given to provide continuous daily, weekly, or monthly updates to your Windows-based computer. It’s important for you to keep your OS up to speed in order to minimise the possibility of having worms or viruses compromise your system.
  2. Software Updates: As with the above example, it’s important for you to get the latest fixes or versions of your favorite applications in order to never let hackers find the opportunity to invade your virtual turf. Make sure that your web browsers and other web-based programs are given good upgrades or patches.
  3. Anti-Virus Software: Running your machine without an anti-virus software—especially if it’s regularly connected to the internet—is downright suicidal in these modern, computer-virus-ridden times. Get one as soon as you can, and always confirm if its virus definitions are regularly updated. There are many wonderful anti-virus suites available, and AVG is among the best of them because it’s both effective and free.
  4. Anti-Spyware Software: Spyware remains to be a continuous threat to computer users everywhere. Thanks to anti-spyware luminaries like Ad-Aware, the formerly crippling spyware contagion has dwindled down throughout the years.
  5. Switch to Macintosh: Even though no computer is foolproof against malware, the Macintosh gets a pass for the simple fact that it’s not as commonly targeted as, say, Windows-based computers.
  6. Hacker-Controlled Websites: Common sense dictates that you should avoid going to bad neighborhoods, especially if you carry a lot of valuables. The same could be said in the wild, wild world of the worldwide web. Avoid getting snared by dubious sites dedicated to porn, free downloads, online games, and so on; this way, there are less chances for you to be hacked.
  7. Firewall: If you don’t have a third-party firewall installed, then it’s highly recommended for you to activate your Windows firewall (available on all supported Windows versions). Firewalls help filter your traffic, and there are some products that even filter both incoming and outgoing data streams.
  8. Spam Email: Unsolicited messages should never be opened, and that goes double for unsolicited messages with file attachments. When in doubt, just delete the message.
  9. Data Backup: If you have critical data, work-related documents, or personal files, then you must back them up as often as possible, because you never know what will happen to your computer. From viruses to system crashes, these sensitive bits of information can be wiped clean from your hard drive in the blink of an eye.  So it’s best to always have a backup at hand. For instance, an external hard drive, usb, or a remote backup service.
  10. Password Policies: The passwords you pick could mean the difference between a breached computer and a safe computer. At any rate, the most common recommendations when it comes to picking a password includes not using the same password on every one of your accounts, using combinations of letters and numbers, and making sure that your password is as secret as possible without necessarily making it too difficult for you to remember it. Never give out your password to anyone. There are available password-management software to help you organise and manage your passwords. Look in our resource section for further information.