Sensitive information, such as bank details, private conversations and intimate photographs, is exposed or leaked daily. With new data breaches and hacks emerging around the world, individuals, companies and governments have become more vigilant about cybersecurity.
You may be wondering if the threat of being hacked is something you have to worry about. You may have heard of the many ways hackers can steal your information. Such frightening stories can easily make us paranoid. Some of the common techniques hackers use:
- Ads and download links with malware
- Stealing cookies (usernames, passwords and browsing history) through unencrypted sites
- Emails with infected attachments and links
- Ads hijacked with malicious codes
On the other hand, it always pays to be sensibly cautious about the information we download or share online. It is wise to take security measures and ask questions about how you can protect yourself online. On the other hand, what happens when you go offline? Is it possible to hack a computer that is turned off?
In this article, we will answer that question and give you some tips on how you can protect yourself from hacking.
Is It Possible to Hack a Computer That is Turned Off?
People in the tech industry have been divided on whether hacking without Internet is possible. Can a hacker access a computer that is turned off? Tech experts say that it is unlikely but still doable.
In the world of technology, there are no black-and-white answers. In this scenario, there are factors that may or may not make it possible to hack a computer that is turned off. However, you would be glad to know that the general answer to this question is “no.” If your computer is turned off, it cannot be booted and hacked even if you leave it connected to the power source and the Internet.
Exception to the Rule: Allowing Remote Access
Generally speaking, hacking a turned-off computer is not possible in a home environment. However, it may happen in shared networks such as an office environment. There are features that allow you to remotely turn on and boot a computer.
Basically in this scenario, if you do not completely turn off the network adapter for the computer, the unit can receive specific instructions on waking up. Such feature can be activated if you enable certain computer settings on BIOS such as “wake on LAN” or “wake on USB.”
For instance with “wake on LAN,” the computer can be configured to respond to remote instructions. A special signal can be sent to the computer over a shared network, allowing the hacker to power it back on and access any data they’d need. Without appropriate security software installed, such as anti-malware tools like Auslogics Anti-Malware, it is possible for hackers to access the computer remotely even if it is turned off.
Such a scenario is likely in corporate settings where there are circumstances which require individuals to set computers to “wake on LAN.” It goes without saying that just because you turned off your computer, it does not mean that it cannot be booted and hacked.
Securing your Computer from Potential Hackings
When you connect to a public network, can someone hack into your computer through Wi-Fi and turn on remote access? This is possible if you do not take preventive measures in securing your computer from threats. Here are some ways you can protect yourself online:
- Install Reliable Anti-Malware Software
Once someone successfully hacks into your computer, it may be too late for you to protect your sensitive information. Of course, you can manually hunt down the malware, but this will take too much time and before you know it, your data have been exposed or leaked. So, it is best to use a high-grade anti-malware tool such as Auslogics Anti-Malware which automatically detects threats and effectively quarantines or eliminates them.
- Be Careful of What You Open Online
These days, it is easier to distinguish suspicious websites. On the other hand, there are malicious e-mails that are convincing enough to entice you to click links or open attachments. If an e-mail is unsolicited, do not read it or open any links inside it. If you receive an email from your bank, instead of opening the links in the mail, open your browser and navigate through the site.
- Do not Post Sensitive Information Online
Review your privacy settings on social media websites. It can be difficult to profile a target when they have strict social media privacy settings. Keep in mind that what you post online is available for everyone to see. Before you publish any information, think carefully if it is a good idea to give that detail away.
- 2-Step Authentication Process
Take advantage of the 2-factor authentication process offered by certain services such as Gmail or LinkedIn. In this way, even if malware has compromised your password, there is another step a hacker should take before they can access your information. In most cases, when someone attempts to log into your account, you will be sent a secret code via SMS.
- Configure your Email Client’s Security Settings
Make sure that your email client is not configured to automatically download resources from the web or images. It is best if you can set it to receive plain text emails. Some email clients do not do this by default, so make sure you check the security settings.
Do you have a different take on this issue? Can you suggest other ways you can avoid becoming a victim of hacking? Let us know in the comments below!