Breaking into a personal account is one of the most attractive forms of employment for hackers. Some hackers do this just to test their skills, while others look for the commercial benefits. And sometimes, hacking is not always necessary in order to break someone’s account. No matter how many articles there are on the Internet about creating a strong password, today’s culture of Internet security is at a low level. Internet users on average do not take steps to prevent hacking. They still choose uncomplicated code words for different sites, follow suspicious links from spam, and basically refuse password managers.
Usually, attackers use the following methods for hacking information:
- Fishing. In this case, hackers create fake websites and ensnare the users to enter their passwords and other sensitive data, so that this data “leaks” to attackers.
- Watering hole. The victim connects to a public WiFi hotspot, which, in fact, is controlled by the attackers. Then the user is automatically directed to a fishing site, similar to the usual social network, or simply to a site with malicious code. For example, it can be placed on the welcome page of the Wi-Fi network.
- Malware. Special software (which may include a virus) is installed on hacked sites or inadequately-protected systems. In this case, it’s difficult to stop hackers as you can no longer control your device.
- Password selection. Using personal information about the user, which may be easily obtained from one’s social media account, hackers can try to guess the passwords. A special software can also be used to filter a huge number of sign combinations when non-word combinations are excluded. It’s common for people to use verbal combinations by replacing letters with similar numbers.
- Social engineering. This happens when hackers sneakily-obtain passwords in some way, or even when naive users report their private data to the attackers themselves. Most Internet frauds are based on this system.
10 Hacking Protection Tips
Today, the number of hacking attacks continues to grow. Experts confirm that no one is protected from the hacking of email accounts, social media accounts, messengers, or software infection viruses. Attackers can use the stolen data to blackmail, fraud, or steal money from bank accounts. That’s why you should think seriously about your online security and take action to prevent hacking. Jump to our recommendations on how to protect your computer from hackers and which hacker protection app to use.
1. Protect your personal data when using emails
If you have received an email with a request to change or verify your personal data, before entering your data, carefully review who sent you this letter and to where the link is going to redirect you. For example, you can receive a letter from Paypal with the same design and attributes but leading to a completely non-related website. By your own carelessness, it may be easy to transfer your payment data to a fraudulent source.
2. Keep your data secret
Do not transfer passwords from your accounts to third parties (registration in e-mail accounts, online services, technical support services, and other sites).
If you are forced to connect to the network from another computer (for example, from a friend’s laptop or from an Internet cafe) and enter your personal data, do not forget to use the Guest mode when you enter your email and Log out when leaving the login page.
3. Enable the firewall
Make sure that you enable your system’s firewall, as it will block hackers and unwanted traffic. A firewall is currently built into any system, but it may just be turned off. So check it. Turning it off means to leave an open access to the computer for hackers.
The system firewall must be enabled, or use a third-party tool, which may even be better than the default one. But do not use several firewalls at once, as they may interfere with each other. Choose only one to make your computer less noticeable to hackers.
4. Use strong passwords
Each user has a large number of registrations in various services. It’s difficult to remember so many passwords. What do most Internet users do? They use one password and use it everywhere. It’s absolutely unsafe!
Moreover, illiterate Internet users often use something familiar as a password so that they will never forget it, for example, the date of birth, last name, phone number, passport data, and so on. The security rule is simple – use a unique password for a single service. What does a secure password mean? Well, at least 8 characters, including capital letters and number.
In order to avoid remembering dozens of passwords, you can use password managing programs, such as LastPass, Dashlane, KeePass, 1Password and so on.
5. Do not synchronize all your digital accounts together
Linking digital accounts makes life easier, not only for you but also for hackers. Yes, it is a convenient way to optimize your digital information, but it increases the possibility of hacking. For example, if you tie your Twitter account for work to a personal one, and someone finds out the password, then both accounts will be hacked at once.
6. Use two-level authentication
When logging in to services like Gmail, use two-level protection so that hackers cannot hack your mail, even knowing the password. Such authentication, in addition to entering a password, will require you to verify your identity in another way, usually with a mobile phone. And after entering the password, the system will also send you an SMS. This, it will be impossible to log in without SMS code numbers, unless a hacker also steals your mobile phone.
7. Download files from trusted resources only
This is especially true for lovers of free services and downloads – music, movies, books and so on. Use only trusted sites, always check the files before downloading with an antivirus program, and check it again before opening it on your computer.
When you use Skype or other messengers, never click on links or open files sent from unfamiliar users.
8. Update your operating system and programs regularly
Even top programs, such as Twitter or Facebook, have “holes” in their security system. Developers update their systems in order to prevent hackers from attacking the users. Therefore, your task is to regularly download software updates and browsers. By the way, this not only enhances the protection of your computer, but it also improves the program performance.
9. Use a VPN to protect your IP address from hackers
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) protects you from hacking by encrypting all information about your online traffic. This means that by entering any data when using a VPN, you protect it from those who are able to intercept personal information. VPNs can also mask your IP address, which makes it difficult to determine your location.
VPN protection from hackers is also a great benefit for surfing the Internet, especially when connected to a public Wi-Fi network because it provides terminal encryption of all traffic.
10. Prevent advertisers from collecting your data
For example, in Facebook, the default settings allow using your personal information to select ads. But this surveillance can easily be turned off. For this, go to the Settings menu, select Ads and disable ads based on your use of websites and applications. There you can also establish that no one sees your social actions regarding advertising and you can remove already collected preferences.
The same is when using Google. Google collects a lot of information about your habits and resources that you visit. For example, your search history, visited places and information from your smartphone. You can disable information tracking in your account settings.