A Somerset data security expert has revealed how hackers work – and that something as simple as posting a picture from your child’s birthday party can put your business at risk.
Ismail Alagha, of IT support company IT Nation is an expert at helping local businesses stay safe and keep hackers out.
“All local businesses are being targeted all the time by cyber criminals. That’s the grim reality of doing business in 2022,” he explained.
“They use automated software to look for hacking opportunities. And are more likely to find them in smaller businesses than big, as they tend to have fewer IT resources.”
Ismail explained that once they discover a chink in the armour, they’ll typically use a number of methods to gain full access.
“One is called brute force,” he said. “They use software to try all the obvious passwords, like 12345678. You’d be surprised how many people use these.
“Another method is social engineering. That can involve them emailing, calling or texting you pretending to be someone else, to get some personal information.
“Cyber criminals will also look at social media accounts to build up a picture. For example, if you post a photo of your child on their birthday, that gives them your child’s name and date of birth. They will try that information in password combinations.”
Ismail’s advice to stay safe is simple:
- Always use a different password for every system and application
- Generate long random passwords and save them in a password manager
- Never tell anyone your passwords or write them down
- Use multi-factor authentication, where you generate a login code on a different device to prove it’s you
IT Nation specialises in IT and Cyber Security for local businesses in the Somerset area.