I can think of few accessories more essential to computing than the mouse. This device made computer use more friendly. The ability to point and click revolutionized home and business computing.
It is easy to take the computer mouse for granted. I have grown accustomed to using it. In fact, to me, a mouse is a virtually natural extension of the computer, seemingly indistinguishable.
Yet, problems always seem to accompany progress. Such is the case with the mouse and wireless keyboard. As it turns out, these helpful devices may be letting in viruses and hackers.
That is right. Many computer users are unknowingly vulnerable. I recently came to learn that the mouse and wireless keyboards we love so much are highly susceptible to cyberattacks.
Wi-Fi Connections to Blame
As is true of many of you, I use Wi-Fi daily. I try not to dwell on all the security dangers possible because of Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, the reality is that just as colds can spread when people cough and sneeze into the air, computer viruses disseminate via Wi-Fi signals.
My Beloved Wireless Mouse
I was so excited when I brought home my first wireless mouse. The ability to slide the device around the table without a cable proved optimal in my work. The thought that I could possibly be the victim of a hacker virus never occurred.
Now, wireless mice and keyboards are a primary means of contracting the so-called MouseJack virus, created by hackers.
How Hackers Get Inside the System
Wireless mice and keyboards connect to the actual computer via a dongle, which translates user actions from the devices back to the computer. So, when I type or click on something using a wireless device, there is a moment when my information is out there in cyberspace. Guess what? That is how hackers can intercept data and get into the system.
A hacker who wants to steal my information or install a virus only need be within 100 meters of the computer to cause havoc.
Brands with Known Problems
Right now, there are certain brands that exhibit weaker defenses than others to these wireless attacks. The names include:
Using a Bluetooth-enabled mouse or keyboard is the best way to protect against these cyberattacks. Bluetooth technology comes with standard security that keeps out known viruses and provides defenses against hacking.
It is also possible to get a firmware patch from the computer or accessory manufacturer.
Small businesses, such as mine, must remain extra vigilant about security. I lack the financial resources to buy a whole new computer system if one falls victim to a serious hack attack. Nor can I afford to lose any sensitive data that could cost me clients.
I strongly advise that anyone serious about remaining safe in cyberspace take precautions as soon as possible.