When you think of the word “hacker,” what’s the first image that comes to mind? Was it a hooded figure, sulking in the basement and desperately waiting for the opportune moment to obtain all of your information with the click of a button? Or perhaps it was a socially awkward teenager chugging down their fifth energy drink of the night while typing out strings of 0s and 1s like rapid fire. The media most often portrays them as one of the two.
The term “hacker” started out relatively harmless. They were seen as innovators in the 1950s, the kind of person that challenged the manual and found different solutions to a problem. Eventually the more negative connotation stuck when the nineties arrived and is presently the most popular definition, a “hacker” is someone who uses a computer to gain unauthorized access to systems or data.
Today we mainly recognize three different kinds of hackers, categorized by the motives behind their actions. They typically hack with the same skill sets as one another as most hackers use the same methods.
Black Hat Hackers, also known as “Hacktivists,” apply their skills maliciously and their objectives typically range from stealing the personal data and monetary funds of individuals like you or I, to major corporate breaches. They work outside of the law, and what they do is usually very illegal.
These guys can type at mach ten, dress like death -if he wore a hoody and ratty jeans. The sketchy guys that stand in the back alleys of the internet waiting to tempt you with empty promises and infect your computer with malware and other harmful viruses.
Occupying a vast land of motivations neither good nor bad, Grey Hat don’t aim to directly cause harm to anyone.
Some of them may in fact have good intentions, breaking into different organizations online and informing them of vulnerabilities anonymously. To some of them it’s only a hobby, to others, selling those vulnerabilities to different agencies is also common occurrence and their livelihood.
Often called the “ethical” hackers, a White Hat is someone who utilizes their skills for the good of other people or companies and are usually hired in order to do so in the first place.
They’re compensated to find breaches in security, vulnerabilities, test systems and a plethora of other small jobs here and there that require their level of devotion and technological understanding.
Unfortunately, lurking behind each type of hacker are those that are ruthless in their pursuit of getting political and public attention. The members of this group can come from white, gray and black, and each is trying to open the eyes of the world.
Join us next week when we take a closer more in depth look at the people known as “Hacktivists”.
As often as we hear computer companies boast about the quality and efficiency of their products, it’s almost difficult to imagine anything going wrong. Sure, we see the warning signs and we know we should rationally be taking extra precautionary measures to ensure that nothing does go wrong – but more often than not, we simply push that thought to the side in favor of something more “important”.
The fact of the matter is that any day now you could lose all of the information stored on any of your computers or devices. Be it a liquid mishap, an internal shortage, or something completely unaccounted for, it can and does happen. Unfortunately that’s not always convincing enough in the argument of why you should backup your data though, so why else should you take the extra steps?
1. Accidents Happen
Believe it or not, as much as we try to prevent them, accidents do happen, and they happen more often than we think they do. Maybe you forgot to save that paper before exiting, or maybe a program simply stopped working in general. Either way, backed up data is guaranteed to keep that data in safe from the occasional accident.
Say you left your laptop in the library, or perhaps you fell asleep on the bus and your backpack was ransacked, while it’s not always easy to track that lost device, you can at the very least access your backed-up data if you’ve happened to save it on some sort of cloud storage. From there it only takes a few clicks to restore all of that data onto a new device, if you choose to invest in another one.
3. Hardware Failure
Some malfunctions are completely out of your hands, they happen deep within the hardware itself and within an instant, all precautions you’ve taken aside, everything you had on your computer is lost completely. Unless of course, you had it backed up to begin with. Then it’s just a matter of getting a repair, or a new device.
4. Viruses, Malware, and Hackers
Some problems you might face aren’t even technical errors, but malicious attack from hackers that aim to corrupt your data, steal it, or hold it for ransom. It’s easy to see why having safeguarded data is a good idea in that case.
5. Save Money on Potentially Expensive Data Recovery
Regardless of what happens, if your data really means that much to you and you’ve somehow lost access to it, you can still take it into a computer repair shop and get the data recovered right off of the hard drive, but be warned that it can be a little expensive. With prices reaching upwards of hundreds of dollars, it’s not difficult to see the appeal in backing up your data.
When it comes to data backups, it’s always better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it.
This is just a short list of why you should be backing your data up regularly. If you need advice on how to backup, or even need some lost data recovered, your friends at Tech Force are always happy to help.
5 Most Common Computer Problems
Here at Tech Force, we have to solve a lot of computer problems. While some complications are more puzzling than others, here’s a short list of the most common issues that are brought into our shop.
One of the most common problems we come across is the “hardware mishap.” Typically this includes spills or drops, laptop screens being broken, motherboards fried, and others of the like. Hardware mishaps are pretty common and can be expensive at times.
Another problem we see a lot of is the “slow computer.” Older devices have a tendency to fall victim to this particular annoyance because as they age they can build up dust and grime on the hardware, and the software itself can become clogged with useless files that do nothing but take up vital storage and leave a device in a miserably sluggish state. In a fast paced world, the last thing people want is a computer that runs at a snail’s pace.
Viruses are the bane of a computer user’s existence. Not only do they knock a computer from NASCAR level speeds down to leisurely strolls in the park, they can also do some serious damage. From the mostly harmless popups that occasionally assault the user, to the dangerously malicious ransomware that could cost you thousands, viruses are unfortunately still a frequent occurrence.
Data loss is an extremely overlooked issue that people don’t usually think about until it happens to them personally. It could be due to a myriad of causes; theft, hardware mishap, software failure, and so much more. It’s the reason we highly recommend using a cloud to backup all of that highly important data you might have on your devices. It saves you a lot of time and money in the long run. Fortunately, even if you forget to back-up your data, there are experts who specialize in data recovery.
This final failure has been making a lot of us in the tech industry scratch our heads. It seems to be a little counter-intuitive, but many computer users have recently been having windows update problems. Whether it be the percentage simply stopping, graphics drivers failing, or operating system glitches, if you’re having a problem with any of the above, just know you are most certainly not alone.
Regardless of what problem your business computers are having, Tech Force can have your device up and running in no time!
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