How We Unknowingly
Make It Easy for the Hackers

Too many computer users assume their system administrator and the software developers do everything necessary to keep their network safe. They don’t think they need to worry about security. THEY ARE WRONG. A network, and every computer on it, is only as secure as its weakest link. You need to make certain that your network's weakest link is not YOU.

bullet  A review of how hackers work shows that uninformed or careless actions by well-intentioned computer users can undermine the security of your entire network.

Here are some of the mistakes that computer users make too often, and which the hackers and other computer criminals exploit. Each of these is discussed in a separate topic.

  • Using a weak or ineffective password. You need to understand how to select a strong password and why PASSWORDS ARE IMPORTANT.
  • Using an unauthorized or insecure modem. A password and a modem phone number is often all it takes for a hacker to penetrate your company's firewall. Hackers use a tool called a "war-dialer" to identify modems.
  • Responding to people who ask apparently innocent questions about you or your computer. Hackers often use a plausible pretext to elicit key information from well-meaning but naive employees – a technique that hackers call "social engineering."
  • Exposing your system to viruses.

Check out the above links and read about these vulnerabilities. Then print out Case 1 and Case 2, if you haven't already done so, to read how human errors by uninformed computer users enabled knowledgeable hackers to bypass the best possible technical security protections.

The goal is that you understand your role in protecting the security of the network as a whole. Protecting the network is not just the job of the technical people. Security is everyone's responsibility.

Related Topics: Weak Passwords, "Social Engineering", Insecure Modems.


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