Computer Hackers and How to Avoid Them

Carlie Schwaeber ’12
News Editor

The majority of students at Staples High School own some sort of computer at home, allowing for typed homework, internet use, and of course, social networking.

Whether it is Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, or an Email, if it has a password, it can be hacked.  Moreover, any student at Staples High School who owns a computer has the potential of having a personal account broken into.

The process in which a hacker must endure can be extremely complex and the severity of consequence in which a hacker can cause can vary. In the case of Giles Bonner ’12, his Facebook account was hacked by a person who caused quit a lot of disruption.

“It didn’t take long for me to know I was hacked because every time they logged into my account, it signed me out automatically,” Bonner said.  Bonner also said that his hacker  wrote a series of offensive remarks on his Facebook “wall” directed towards his friends.

Along with Bonner, Spencer Bratman ’12 also got a few of his personal accounts hacked into about two months ago.

“All of my passwords, such as my Facebook and Ichat were changed, as well as my SAT account,” Bratman said.  “I was pretty concerned that the hacker had some really important passwords, but I was definitely scared that they could get my bank account information.”

In addition, Bratman pointed out that he had a Macintosh computer when he got hacked, a brand he believes to be of good quality.  However, he has now learned that despite the quality, protecting your computer is critical.

According to multiple sources including the Microsoft Safety & Security Center website, having a “strong” and complex password is vital in avoiding hackers.  In addition, the website also suggests that sharing passwords and using the same password for multiple different sites can be perilous to your safety, as well as downloading any sort of malware.

The website also encourages that the firewall of your computer always remains on.

“A firewall puts a protective barrier between your computer and the Internet. Turning it off for even a minute increases the risk that your PC will be infected with malware.”

In terms of Macintosh computers, frequently updating your software as well as consistently locking your computer when gone are encouraged, according to Macworld.com.

To find out more ways in which you can protect your computer, check out:

PC: http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/protect-pc.aspx

Macintosh: http://www.macworld.com/article/51426/2006/06/protectmac.html