Viruses can replicate themselves on computer and phone systems, rendering them unusable. They are able to do this by attaching themselves to files and programs that are undetected. This allows viruses to spread throughout the entire system. The virus can be concealed in non-secure applications such as music files, videos games, photos and toolbars.

Hacking is used primarily to steal data or cause financial damage to companies. Hackers employ a variety of methods to gain access to sensitive data, including brute force attacks such as encryption, polymorphic codes, phishing, and more. Once this information is gained hackers can either sell it or make use of it to create a botnet that can be used to attack other systems or users.

Some viruses are designed to take passwords, personal information and other sensitive data like birth dates. These kinds of viruses are called ransomware. Ransomware attacks are very common and have even impacted major companies like the Colonial Pipeline, JBS (world’s largest meatpacker), and the Steamship Authority ferry company.

Hackers can also steal information through attacks on unprotected websites. This is accomplished through exploit kits. Exploit kits are programs that automatically check a website for vulnerabilities and then install malicious software on your device without you even knowing that it has happened.

The best method to avoid getting hacked is to keep your operating system, apps and devices up-to current. These updates contain crucial security patches that patch holes that hackers love exploiting. Also, be sure to use passwords that are secure. A good rule of thumb is to not use any word from the dictionary, or any personal information such as your birth date of birth.