Simple Ways That Your Computer Can Be Hacked

Keep hackers out with strong passwords and smart Web surfing.
... Павел Игнатов/iStock/Getty Images

Big companies aren't the only victims of cyber-crime, and hackers don't necessarily need to know complicated programming languages to infiltrate your computer. Due to the prevalence of spyware and keylogging software, anyone dedicated enough can hack into your computer and accounts. Computer hacking is sometimes as easy as clicking a bad link to download spyware or using easily guessed passwords.

1 Physical Access

Perhaps the simplest way someone can access your computer is by physically logging on to the machine, with or without your knowledge. If you stay signed in to your email, Facebook and other online accounts, anyone who uses your computer can also access those accounts. This could give him access to your financial information, private emails and social networking passwords, not to mention the various other files and documents saved on your hard drive.

2 Unsecured Wi-Fi

Mobile hot spots enable you to connect to the Internet while you're out and about, but these convenient Web-access portals can also leave your laptop, tablet or smartphone open to hacking. Public Wi-Fi networks, and even many home networks, are often unsecured. This means that anyone with a little know-how can hack into the network and into any computers or devices connected to it.

3 Malware Installation

Spyware, remote access programs and other malware can open the virtual door for hackers, and these programs infiltrate your system through various means. These programs are typically downloaded secretly when you click on a booby-trapped link or email attachment, or visit a website that offers free downloadable content. Some can be installed directly, if you allow others to use your computer without supervision.

4 Keep Prying Eyes Out

Always supervise anyone who uses your computer, and shut it down or use a strong password to lock it while you're away. Secure your home Wi-Fi network with a strong password, and adjust your device's settings to prevent remote access if you use public hotspots. Always keep up-to-date anti-virus software on your computer and run regular scans to detect and remove any lurking malware. Never click on unknown links or download email attachments that you weren't expecting to receive.

Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.