Avoid becoming a victim: How not to get hacked!

We live in the age where our gadgets are interconnected, integrating our personal lives with our digital ones. Unfortunately, this has left us more vulnerable to hacks and other variants of cybercrimes where your entire life can be undone in just a second or with the click of a few buttons. We have reached the point where it is paramount to take preventative measures and avoiding becoming a victim.

Avoid becoming a victim: Tips on how not to get hacked

As much as there are security measures put in place, there will always be vulnerabilities – at least in the digital sense. Here are a few tips that will help you avoid becoming a victim and some preventative measures from a hacker.

Strong passwords are important

Set strong and lengthy passwords. Yes, you have heard this before but it really is the first step in security. This is a vital tip and a preventative measure you need to make a habit of. Apply this rule to everything from social media accounts to your online banking logins. Use random letters that have no significance or a foreign word, add symbols and numbers and use a mix of upper- and lowercase letters to increase the strength of your password. Here’s an example: Proshu@2017.

Different passwords for different accounts

It is much easier to use the same password on all your accounts – who has the time to memorise ten different passwords? Not you, right? Keep in mind that, even though Proshu@2017 is a strong password, using it on all your online accounts undermines its security importance. Think about it this way: if it’s easier for you to remember, it will be easy for any potential hackers too. Therefore, it is crucial to set different (strong and lengthy) passwords for each account to ensure your digital life remains uncompromised. Still stuck on how to remember all your new passwords? Lucky for you, there are password management programs that are designed to remember your passwords for you. Check out Dashlane, LastPass and RoboForm.

Two-factor authentication is a must

As the occurrence of cybercrime exponentially grows and hackers find new and inventive ways of gaining access to our personal accounts, it has become apparent that an additional layer of security is needed. This initiated the move to TFA (Two Factor Authentication). By implementing TFA, the person trying to access an account needs to have the username and password, as well as a unique code that is sent only to the person who owns the account in question.

Do not click the .co link

If you’ve listened to our previous points and have a strong password in place, the sneaky hackers might not be able to crack the code and get into your account with your details. The next logical step is for them to pretend to be your service provider. This is a popular hack method that is generally conducted via email to phish for your details. Nowadays, hackers gain your trust with an email and a phone call where, for example, a pseudo-Microsoft call centre gets in touch to notify you of issues on your account. It is imperative that you do not click the .co link in the email they send you or give your password to the person on the other end of the line.

Use public WiFi spots sparingly

Free stuff is great, but be aware of using public WiFi spots as the connection requires no encryption of data from your device to the internet. This means that you are essentially left unarmed and unaware, making you the perfect cyber victim.

Make backups of your data

Though it may seem like inviting trouble, always back up your data. This preventative measure will always save you from a panic attack after a virus or in case you get hacked. You can make use of free online backup systems such as Dropbox and Crashplan.

Use fake answers for security questions

Due to social media, especially Facebook, it has become rather easy to figure out the generic answers to the standard security questions that may be asked if you forget your password, for example. It is easy to follow the little thread of likes and endearing comments to make the connection with your security questions. Providing fake answers makes it much harder for hackers to hack you.

These are but a few tips and preventative measures against becoming a victim of a hacking, however big or small. These tips are not to scare you, they are there to keep you alert and on your guard. After all, prevention is always better than cure, right?

Need your security to be stepped a notch? Contact us and we can discuss various options such as anti-virus and firewall protection.

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