Top 5: The most common ways to hack your computer

There’s more than one way to fall victim to fraudsters who want your money, personal information on your computer, or even your vote…


A family of viruses, worms and Trojans, malware is basically malicious code that steals information and/or data.


The big daddy. Ransomware prevents you from using your computer’s operating system, encrypts your files so you cannot access them, and stops you from running applications. Unless a ransom is paid (usually in Bitcoins), your computer is rendered useless.


Phishing emails are those sent by cyber criminals designed to look like they are from legitimate sources such as a bank, building society or email provider. They usually try to persuade or scare you into clicking on a link and parting with personal information, which is then harvested for malicious use.

Fake news/election hacking

More a form of social hacking rather than the usual code-based type, fake news is a heightened type of rumour-mongering, usually concerning a political actor or agency, designed to spread misinformation. It emerged during the Brexit referendum, and came into its own during the US and French elections last year.

Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)

A DDOS attack occurs when multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system, usually one or more web servers. Such an attack is often the result of multiple compromised systems (tor example, a botnet) flooding the targeted system with traffic.

This article was published in our Business Reporter Online: Cyber Security.

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