We tend to think of hackers as loners however, the reality is that cybercrime has evolved into a sophisticated and collaborative ecosystem. Hackers may have a variety of motives, ranging from the pursuit of financial gain to political goals. Knowing what they’re seeking can help you avoid attacks and put security measures in place to safeguard your small-scale business.

Some hackers use their skills to their advantage, identifying security holes and bringing them to the attention of authorities to fix them. They are referred to as white hat hackers and they are usually paid by the companies they work for to carry out penetration tests. Some hackers have more dangerous motives, like stealing personal information for fraud with credit cards or identity theft or using viruses to generate unauthorised charges or cause attacks on service (which will shut down devices).

A secure password is the first line of defense in the fight against hackers. Implementing two-factor authentication on sites like banking and social media will improve your security. Encrypting your hard drive is another simple way to block hackers from accessing your sensitive data even if they manage to break into your device. Make sure that you keep your operating system, browsers and other essential apps up to date. The majority of devices will automatically download updates, which will close software vulnerabilities that might otherwise allow hackers to gain access to or steal information.

We live in a digital world, where our smartphones, laptops or tablets, computers, and smartphones are always connected. Hackers are searching for information that you give out online. It’s tempting to fall into a state of vulnerability and give away too much. To ensure your data is secure, avoid shopping or accessing your personal accounts through public Wi-Fi, and do not leave your accounts open for all time.