There are two big reasons why people get hacked. Software flaws and human behaviour flaws. While there’s not much you can do yourself about coding vulnerabilities, you can change your own behaviour and bad habits.
The risks are real, even for the average person. You’re better off taking some steps to mitigate the risks of you getting hacked in the first place.
Here’s some things you can do to protect yourself.
- Use anti-virus software
Make sure you have some kind of security program installed. This will ensure that most threats are blocked before they can install themselves on your machine. Make sure you keep the software up to date as well. Apply any patches or updates as soon as they’re released. If the software has automatic updating, then switch it on.
- Use multi-factor authentication
Turn on multi-factor, or two-factor, authentication for as many of your accounts as possible. Even if you do have a password that’s easy to guess, an attacker is unlikely to get access to an account with multi-factor authentication turned on unless they have your phone.
Turn it on for all the accounts that hold personal information that could be abused. Messaging apps such as WhatsApp, social media including Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and all your email accounts.
- Get a password manager
All the passwords you use for your online accounts should be strong and unique. What this really means is they should be long, include a mixture of different character types and not be used across multiple websites.
The best way to do this is by using a password manager. Password managers create strong passwords for you and store them securely. If the fact that they can stop you getting hacked isn’t enough to make you consider using one, a password manager also means you never have to struggle to remember a forgotten password again.
- Learn how to spot a phishing attack
Whether it’s a post by one of your friends on a social networking site, or an email from a contact, be careful when opening a link or attachment.
Anyone can fall for these types of scams. The main thing to do is to think before you click.
There’s no foolproof way to identify every type of phishing effort or scam – scammers are constantly upping their game – but being aware of the threat can help reduce its effectiveness. Be cautious, think before you click, and only download files from people and sources you know and trust.
- Update everything
Software makers routinely update their software to fix bugs that could potentially be exploited by hackers. Download and update the latest versions of the apps and software you’re using.
Start with your phone. Any laptops and computers you own should be high up the list and then work backwards through other connected devices in your life. Remember: everything is vulnerable, including your internet-connected doorbell.
- Update your recovery options
If you do forget your password or get locked out, you need a way to get back into your account. Many services will send an email to you at a recovery email address if you need to reset your password. So it’s important to make sure your recovery email address is up-to-date and is linked to an account you can still access.
- Encrypt and backup everything
Using encrypted services means that what you’re sending is better protected against surveillance and won’t be accessible if your device gets lost or stolen.
Encrypting the files on your devices can help reduce the chances of your data being compromised if you’re hacked – or lose your devices.
Backing up your data will also save you hours of hassle and frustration should things go wrong. You have three basic backup options: an external hard drive, online backup service, or cloud storage. Choose the one that’s right for you.
These were some of the ways on how to protect your computer from hackers and viruses.
Your safety is in your hands! But if you need a little help and expertise, Security Everywhere can help.