How to Recognize and Prevent Hacker Attacks

To be able to defend against hacker attacks, it is necessary to understand which are the most common malware and how they act on our devices

It is easy to say computer attack. It is a bit more difficult to understand which hacker trap has hit our computer and especially how to defend yourself. There are different types of malware and different tools used by hackers. To improve computer security and protect our privacy, it is essential to understand how viruses act.

First of all, we must know that hackers do not always attack in the same way and that there are different systems that can tamper with our devices. Most of the traps of cyber criminals act by exploiting what are defined as social engineering techniques. These are processes aimed at studying the habits of a user on the Web in order to trick him to receive confidential information or to convince him to install malware. Obviously, without him noticing the danger.


Most of the cyber attacks that exploit social engineering techniques are identifiable as phishing. But what does such a virus look like?  Simple, it's almost always an email that looks like it's from the bank or insurance company. It looks urgent and includes a clickable link. However, if we examine the email closely, we very quickly notice some suspicious clues. Such as wrong URLs, gross grammar errors, and different business logos than the official ones. To understand if the link in the message is trustworthy or not, all we have to do is hover over it with the mouse cursor (but not click) and check the link name. Or enter it into a specific virus scanner.


Another situation in which you should be very careful is when downloading programs or applications from the Net. Worms can hide inside documents, files and photos. That is, malware. The same applies to attachments arriving in email inboxes. Beware of surfing on untrustworthy websites, as there are some portals that automatically install viruses on your PC.

Syntactic and semantic attacks

There are two big families of hacker attacks: syntactic and semantic. The first ones are those that use a piece of malicious software to infect our devices. These include viruses, the aforementioned worms and trojans. Viruses are mainly spread by email attachments and by downloading malicious files. Worms, on the other hand, are mainly present in untrusted websites, while Trojans are almost always spread via email. Among the semantic hacker attacks we find, instead, the phishing attempts and especially ransomware.

Basic rules to defend yourself

The main cause of any hacker attack is human error. In fact, cyber criminals almost always exploit our negligence. Many people think that there are programs that are impossible to defend against, but if we update our apps and antivirus software regularly and pay attention to links and attachments, we're unlikely to fall victim to malware. Moreover, to avoid any inconvenience with ransomware, it is important to make constant backups of our data.