Hacking prevention tips: The Internet literally runs our lives now. Our professional lives depend on email, LinkedIn and other work-related websites. Our social lives are heavily hinged on social media platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter.
The bad side of the Internet is that there are cyber criminals who are ever looking for confidential information to further their interests.
While it is debatable if one can be totally hacker-proof, there are measures one can take to make it harder, if not impossible, to access private information. Here are some.
- Use different passwords
While it may sound convenient to have the same password across all your online accounts, it is very risky.
If someone manages to obtain a password for one of your accounts, they can access the rest and do irreparable damage to you.
Alter passwords for different sites by mixing capital and small letters, alphanumeric characters and numbers.
- Use 2-Step Authentication
Also known as 2 Factor Authentication, it is basically an addition of a secondary means of verification after your password.
For instance, after entering your password, you will get a code on your phone via SMS or a voice call. You will then enter the code into the website’s login page to gain access.
Websites such as Google and WordPress have this feature and it is highly recommended you activate it.
- Confirm web address
At times hackers are able to obtain private information by creating clones of popular websites and using them to entice unsuspecting victims. This is called phishing.
In most cases, the clone site will have slight differences from the authentic one. If you keenly check the webpage, you may notice some inconsistencies such as off colours, fonts or logos.
Commonly though, the difference is on the web address. For instance, someone can create a website that looks like the Facebook login page. Instead of https://www.facebook.com, it may look like or www.faceboook.com.
- Ignore enticing ads
One time or another you may have get a pop up notification saying you have won x amount of money in a competition you never signed up for or participated in.
Or, it can the photo of a pretty woman or handsome man allegedly wanting to chat with you. Avoid clicking on such ads because behind them could lurk malicious software made to steal your information and relay it to hackers.
Most websites have a pop-up blocker, activate it to filter out spammers and unnecessary attention seekers.
- Install Antivirus software
Most antivirus software worth a mention have a feature for safe browsing. The antivirus will automatically stop malicious software from automatically downloading and installing in your computer.
Others are able to block you from accessing known malicious websites. Install the antivirus and be sure to update it regularly to ensure you do not miss out on latest updates.
- Ignore Suspicious Email attachments
Hackers can easily obtain email addresses and forward malicious software to unsuspecting victims. As a rule of thumb, do not open attachments in emails from unknown sources.
If curiosity gets the better of you, preview the attachment online before downloading. Preview documents in Google Docs or open PDFs in your browser to confirm content before downloading.
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