The professional hacker, as seen on TV, is usually a young nerd/genius who thinks in ones and zeros and, with furrowed brow, expertly tunnels through flashing lines of code before shouting “I’m in!”

Nowadays, the hacker is as likely to be a worker-bee with just enough know-how to deploy the criminal organization’s sophisticated software tools to roam the Internet for targets of opportunity. Artificial intelligence does the heavy lifting. The hacker’s biggest challenge may be to keep Cheetos dust off the keyboard.

So, hackers generally are well-equipped for the job of attacking your network already. That doesn’t mean they don’t love to get help from the inside.

While hacker groups like Darkside and REvil are resourceful and persistent, they don’t need to be evil geniuses to gain access to your business network, your confidential data, and, ultimately, your bank account. They find frequent success with more prosaic tools.

You know what is the main avenue of entry into your computer? Weak passwords. Hackers just take a stab at guessing your password, and, according to one security company, they succeed about half the time with just that little effort.

It’s that easy because people are predictable. The most popular password utilized in 2020 was “123456.” Hackers know this (and now that you do, make sure to change any passwords that are that simple). The number-two password was “123456789.”

Yeah, they’ll never guess that. Other popular passwords are “password,” “password1,” and “qwerty.” Each of those is estimated to take a hacker less than one second to crack, according to data breach experts.

What about those security questions on some sites? Won’t they keep out the hackers? After all, how would they know the name of the street you lived on as a child, your first car, or your favorite teacher?

Ever played along with a social media “game,” such as “Your Hallmark Movie name is your mother/father’s name + the street you grew up on.” Hmm. Joining in puts a couple of data points identifying you out into the cyber-street. Add up the number of times you’ve overshared online and you get an idea of the amount of information you may have innocently given to hackers.

Because it’s so easy to let your guard down, it’s vital to find out what your vulnerabilities are in the cyberworld. Here at SIP Oasis, we can help! Sign up for a free security assessment, brought to you by Georgia the Cyberdog, at  Any other questions?  Send us a message on our contact page.