rise-of-hackers-viPutting a spotlight on hackers.

     We cannot afford to be sloppy anymore when it comes to our personal information. We must become more aware that their are hackers everywhere trying to get into our devices, especially our smartphones.  Right now we are all living in a world that is filled with online hackers trying to gain our personal information. Smartphones are becoming more integrated into our daily routines, between our personal and professional lives. We fill up our smartphones with information such as all of our contacts, personal messages and emails between friends and colleagues. This being said, we are letting ourselves become too comfortable with going straight to our smartphones to store as much as we let it. Storing all of our valuable information is now getting way too risky, thus making it more urgent than ever to take necessary precautions. Having all of our information on our smartphone devices makes it easier for hackers to access all of our personal information within minutes. It is fine to write little notes to yourself such as what you need from the grocery stores. In spite of that, storing information such as your social security numbers under your notes section is just asking for hackers to come and find you. Hackers tend to be people who try to attempt tricking others into handing over their personal information. Typically though phone calls or emails and, are getting exceedingly better at it. But then there are hackers who are trying to get into the systems to expose secret information, possibly for revenge against their exes or gaining intel for their company.  We need to keep an eye out for the different types of hackers and what they are going after. Let’s try to dig through their brains and investigate some common reasons as to why hackers hack.

                                    Click here to see what hackers want from us

     These cyber-attacks have been increasing, making their way up to 47 percent of U.S adults, or about 110 million people who have been victimized and had their personal information hacked (Pagliery, 2014). Not only has this increase been due to most of our information being stored now a days on our handheld devices, but the ICloud may be more invasive than beneficial. This feature is a convenient backup system for all of the information to be stored just in case our phone was to get lost or broken. However this makes it an even more intriguing target for all those hackers to start tapping into our data. During the set up process of your new smartphone, the ICloud is one of the first settings in which they promote.  Most of the time it sounds like a strategic move to have all of our information backed up in case of emergencies, but is it? Most of the time we do not think twice about the riskiness we are getting ourselves into when setting up the ICloud. The cloud does in fact carry risks, which you may or may not be aware of. Social networking and search providers can access all types of information that you provide and can then sell it to third parties. However by law they cannot give out information such as credit card numbers, personal health information or educational records. More importantly, there are no guarantees against unauthorized disclosures by attacks from hackers. Watch this abc NEWS video to hear about the story where hackers can now get a hold of your information and ease drop on your conversions through apps that you download for free. A warning about what can be tagged along with those free apps that you download. If  an app asks to get authorization to get into your camera unless it has to deal with a camera app. It is key to try to try to read what the apps are asking because if you could have fallen for a trap that these hackers have set.

Another key thing to be aware of is if your location tracker is on when needed and only needed. If the location privacy setting is on, then GPS coordinates or Wi-Fi access point information can be disclosed. This then compromises the user’s privacy, or in extreme cases, put one’s physical safety at risk since a third party could track your every movement (Engle,2012). Since the cloud is internet based, this puts your information at a higher risk of hackers and companies being able to track down and get a hold of the information you store, such as your social security number, bank accounts or credit card numbers in just minutes. Ultimately these cyber-attacks will likely not decrease as Internet and mobile devices continue to grow; this just gives the hacker culture a chance to continue to grow and become more sophisticated so it can loop around more security systems. Here shows the harsh reality of how many people are attacked by hackers, do not fall into one of these categories. Note that these numbers are only based on what people have complained about. Imagine the other thousands of victims who have not said a word to the authorities, or have even realized that they have been hacked already.

Click here so you Don’t become the next victim

     Is this how some of the great dreamers would have expected the present day to end up as? The conceptual bases of Doug Engelbart’s dream started to become a reality, but may have taken a turn for the unexpected. Engelbart’s vision was searching for practical possibilities and finding a reasonable approach of efficient problem solving. This was a key part in order for a society to run smoothly. Engelbart wanted to make the world a better place by improving human’s ability to solve problems at a quicker rate. Especially since the complexity of man’s problems would increase needing to consider an increasing population. However, Engelbart’s concept space of “the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex, speedier solutions, better solutions, and the possibility of finding solutions to problems that before seemed insoluble,( Engelbart,1962)are now filled with hackers preying on people. There are now people who are using the greater good of the internet that is meant for you to create, think and share, are now being filled with online thieves trying to make money off of us. The internet is being filled with hackers who are trying to scavenge for people’s information so they can benefit themselves. It would be highly possible that hackers are making their way into the upper hand of the battle for gaining data. Here is a video on how one can easily obtain someone else’s password; this is probably not what Engelbart had in mind when he said he wanted to focus on improving the human’s ability to solve problems at a quicker rate. There are two more dreamers that I focus on earlier in the year in a blog that share similar thoughts to Engelbart’s dream of  trying to solve problems at a faster rate, but the other two dreamers also have a main focus on expanding memory.

Click here to watch how hacking takes less than a minute

     What the frightening part is the fact that there are thousands of phone hacking step by step methods found on the internet. Who knows what type of people are looking these up online, and most importantly who is that person attempting to hack? You can see from the Google web page, when I searched up “how do you hack people’s phones,” there were about 1,460,000 (0.51 seconds) results that popped up. These websites share tips and advice on the best hacking 3types of software that efficiently work, as well as endless amounts of YouTube videos that show how to hack as well. Criminals can get devices that allow them to easily hack into people’s phones by simply just dialing the number now. It is alarming just to see how easily one can get a hold of this information, as well as get the devices in order to hack into someone’s cells phones in order retrieve personal information from anyone they set their eyes on. At this rate elementary-schoolers can easily search up and learn how to hack into their parents phones if they wanted to. This should not be what people have in mind when coming up with ways to improve human’s ability to solve problems at a quicker rate. This is only causing more catastrophic problems to be aware of and let alone increasing the amount of stress when someone does get hacked.

     Most of the features on our phones, if we are not careful, are leaving little trails for hackers to easily link directly back to us. The handy features on our smartphones are making their way into our daily lives, which is always keeping us connected to the internet. The location tracker, is more helpful than ever because we are easily able to find out where the nearest convenient stores or gas stations are with a click of a button. When we need these turn by turn directions it is usually connected to Google, who can then keep record of the places you have visited or currently visiting. As this is an extremely helpful way to navigate through cities that are unfamiliar to us,  we keep the location tracker on even when we are not looking for directions. By having these smartphones with us at all times puts us in a disadvantage because we are now a target that get be traced wherever we go. This may not seem like a big deal, but in reality you do not know what other third parties are on the other side possibly trying to hack into our devices. With the location tracker on, hackers can easily find where we live, go to school or work. With this information, they can get in closer ranges to our devices if they need to and start hacking away to steal personal information. We need to be more aware that what we keep on our devices such as, information found in emails, texts, or photos could be used for theft, blackmail, stalking, unfair competition, public humiliation, or whatever else the hackers could have in mind (Flynn and Klieber 2015). We as a community need to realize that these devices that we carry with us everywhere we go are really like miniature radios, and that they can broadcasts our vulnerable data. Which at any given point, can be intercepted by unauthorized third parties. It is a given that companies such as Google and retail stores like Target are capable of tracking our online activity to create effective targeted advertisements. To find out what other personal information Target keeps on record, check out this blog, you may be surprised what they can get a hold of from you. However if these companies are able to track our online activity through the use of cookies, then what’s to say hackers are not able to do the same thing. Hackers can try to lure you in different forms and contact you through different methods, most of the time you will not see it coming. Here are some to keep an eye out for, but the key thing is to do your research before you hand over any type of money or personal information.

Click here to know what to look out for and not fall for it

     However sometimes when hackers use a certain method, such as ransom,  they must keep a certain reputation in order for that tactic to continue working. Ransom is usually when you take something from someone in exchange for money in order to retrieve it back. Here is a true story of a mother who got hacked.

Ransom article, the lengths this mother had to go through to get her files back are crazy.

     Click on the link below to read a little interesting nugget from the article that I found shocking, as well as shinning

Nugget on hackers having to keep an interesting a reputation

     If you decide to store your personal information on your laptop, phone or computer, then you are putting your personal information at risk for strangers, hackers or identity thieves to gain access to it all. It is ignorant of us to think that the information we delete from our devices will make the information no longer traceable. It has been proven multiple times that deleted information can be recovered. This is where the advancement of technology comes into play, now we have systems where hackers are able to recover posts that you delete and search engines you try to erase from your history on your smartphones. So do not think that if you post a picture with a location linked to it, that it will be deleted forever if you then want to take it down. We are facing a greater risk of our information getting collected because the internet is no longer limited to just our desktop. We are able to access the internet just about anywhere with our handy dandy smartphones. As long as we are online with the devices that we carry on ourselves, we are putting ourselves at risk for the potential of being tracked at all times. Hackers are starting to become more equipt that they have been working their way around business’s traditional defensive methods. Most of the times attacks are not noticed until after they have occurred, and some professionals are starting to fight back (Piper, 2013). So for now, we need to stop giving hackers information to feed off of and take extra precautions. It is time to become cyber smart, click on the link below to figure out how to better protect yourself starting now. There is no time to wait.

Click here to learn how to protect your personal information

Works Cited

  • Engelbart, Douglas. “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework.” Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework. Doug Engelbart Institute, Oct. 1962. Web. <http://www.dougengelbart.org/pubs/augment-3906.html>.
  • Flynn, Lori, and Will Klieber. “Smartphone Security.” IEEE Pervasive Computing, Oct. 2015.http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.proxy.library.vcu.edu/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=7310799&tag=1
  • Pagliery, Jose Massive. “Half of American Adults Hacked This Year.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. <http://money.cnn.com/2014/05/28/technology/security/hack-data-breach/>.
  • Piper, A. (2013). Trapping hackers.Risk Management, 60(4), 8-8,10. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy.library.vcu.edu/docview/1365707407?accountid=14780


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