Hacker is a term used by some to mean “a clever programmer” and by others, especially those in popular media, to mean “someone who tries to break into computer systems.”
Hacking Attempts On The Rise
Watch Attacks in Real Time – You have all seen the news reports of large companies and government entities getting hacked. To be truthful, your computer has probably been hacked too. A hack can be anything from someone just looking around to see what they can find, to complete and total destruction of your information.
At JTM MultiMedia, Inc. we do our best to make sure our servers are protected against hacking attempts to protect your data. However, in our opinion, no computer system or network that is connected to the Internet can be 100% secured.
Computer hardware and software systems have become so complex, that no one person can fully understand the interactions of the various components. One single piece of code in the millions of lines of code in your computer could allow a hacker into your system and in most cases, you will never know it.
What you can do, best practices to avoid a hacking disaster:
- Keep your computers Operating System up to date.
- Keep all applications up to date.
- Keep anti-virus products up to date.
- Never open attachments, unless you are 100% sure what it is.
- Never click on links in email unless you trust the sender and know what the link is for.
- Keep good backups of everything, off site. A cloud backup service like Live Drive, One Drive, Google Drive, I-Drive or Carbonite can do automatic off site backups for you. Many have plans for free for personal computers.
- Use STRONG passwords. Ones with letters, numbers and special characters, and at least 7 characters long.
- Use different passwords for different systems. This can be a pain, but once a hacker figures out one of your passwords, they will try it on other systems you may subscribe too.
- Subscribe to our Profession Spam Filter (monthly charge applies). Read about it here.
- For more secure email, use SSL or encrypt it. We have instructions here.
- Have us install CloudFlare’s Web Application Firewall on your web site for more protection ($35.00/mo).
- Don’t provide any personal information or make purchases when using public hot spots (WiFi).
- Never purchase anything on the ‘Net unless the site is SSL secured (HTTPS://).
- Consider keeping sensitive personal information off your computer, tablet or phone. Things like SSN, Credit Card Numbers, passwords, financial or medical records, etc. You could keep information like this on a thumb drive and only mount it when needed.
- Consider this – Don’t use On Line Banking. I don’t know about you, but with all the bank hacks, I’m not opening that can of worms.
What We do to protect your information:
- Keep all operating systems up-to date.
- House our servers in a secured data center.
- Protect your web site with CloudFlare’s Content Distribution Network.
- Run the latest Anti-Virus protection on servers.
- Run 24/7 monitors on our servers to be proactive in the event of an outage.
Day One Hacks
Beware that even the best protected system today, can be compromised tomorrow. New hacks are introduced every day. It takes time for software vendors to discover hacks, fix them and distribute the fixes to their clients.
If you are running Windows OS, upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 has built in Anti-Virus and Anti-Hacking software (Windows Defender). Install it and keep it up to date (set up Auto Updates), you should be pretty safe.
What If Your Web Site Gets Hacked?
JTM MultiMedia, Inc. provides extensive protection against hackers for all of our hosted sites, thru CloudFlare CDN, WordFence IDS & firewalls (WordPress sites), web server firewalls and web server intrusion detection systems, however, nothing is 100%. A truly determined hacker could probably still do some damage.
JTM MultiMedia, Inc. has dealt with a few hacked sites in the past. We keep backups of all of our hosted sites just in case, but sometimes a hack does not present itself in a timely manner and can creep into backups before it is known. In these cases we have to slog thru the code and attempt repair.
If the affected website is built in WordPress, we have a world class, U.S. based White Hat team we can hire for a quick and complete recovery of the damaged site. They will also harden the site so the same or similar hacks will be stopped in the future, and all for a very reasonable price.
One Last Word
If you want to be 100% safe, don’t connect your computer to the Internet. While this may be impractical, it is the only way to guarantee you won’t be hacked.