Revealed: 4 Easy Ways To Avoid Being Hacked
With all the recent news about corporate cyber security failures, government surveillance, and large scale-hacks, keeping yourself safe online can seem like a daunting task. While there is probably no way of completely avoiding the NSA if they have set their sights on you, the good news is that there are a number of simple things that you can do in order to protect yourself against unwanted surveillance and hackers. Below, therefore, we take a look at 4 tips that should mitigate the risk of your personal data falling into the wrong hands as follows:
1. Treat emails suspiciously
Numerous hacking and cyber attacks are often initiated through simple but malicious email campaigns. While email provides for a wonderful communication platform, it can also be a huge security risk. For instance, phishing is a method that is used by hackers to send seemingly innocuous emails that lead unsuspecting victims to fake websites that ask for their personal information.
To avoid being scammed by phony emails, make sure that whoever who is sending you emails is someone who is well known to you. In addition, always check the email address in order to ascertain that it matches the website where you think it is from. Alternatively, to be extra cautious, you could always check the sender’s IP address. This can be done by finding the email’s source information after which you can Google the IP address so as to identify its source.
2. Desist from opening attachments
A good rule of thumb to follow if you want to reduce the instances of hacking on your personal data is to never open attachments unless you are absolutely sure of their source. This is because one of the easiest ways that hackers use to download malicious code on to their victim’s computers is by sending emails that contain virus-laden files.
This is also how companies frequently get hacked when unsuspecting employees download malicious software which then infiltrates the entire network. Some of the most dangerous file types include .EXEs, PDFs, and Word.
3. Use of advanced passwords
This is, undoubtedly, one of the most obvious yet often overlooked tips. Strong passwords include lowercase, uppercase, punctuation, numbers, and any other gibberish that may come to mind. Do not make your password(s) a personal reference or store them in a saved file. More importantly, do not employ the same password for multiple accounts. Also, remember to change your passwords frequently, especially for vulnerable accounts like banking and email.
4. Do not share personal data on public Wi-Fi
Thinking about checking your bank account or purchasing a plane ticket while sitting at a coffee shop? Well, you may want to think twice about it as you do not know how secure the connection you are using is. The same goes for places like conference centers and hotels. There is simply no way of knowing where you may be vulnerable so it is advisable to be judicious about where you are surfing.
If you must access your private information while on these networks, it would be prudent to use tools such as virtual private networks (VPNs) which will encrypt your traffic so that it is impossible for the Wi-Fi network to see the sites you visit. Better yet, you could set up a hotspot aided by your mobile data.