Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How do I Protect Myself Against Hackers?

How do you Protect Yourself Against Hackers?

No system is completely safe from hackers, and even the most secure data can be at risk. However, with the volume of information that we put online today and the amount of transactions people complete on a daily basis over the internet, taking extra steps to protect yourself from being a victim of computer hackers is critical.

Understand the Risks

The only way to completely protect yourself from online hackers would be to disconnect from the internet entirely. For most people, this is unrealistic, given the volume of information that we exchange online every single day. From online banking and bill pay to email accounts, social media, and shopping, we spend a lot of time online. The next best thing is to understand the risks so you can minimize your exposure without cutting yourself off from the cyber world completely.

Keep AntiVirus Software Updated

One of the best steps you can take to protect from needing excessive credit repair or computer repair after a hacking incident is to have current antivirus software, and keep it updated. You can often go into your software and set it to automatically update, or at least to alert you when there are updates available if you prefer to do it manually.

Change Your Passwords

With so many different sites that we use today, it can seem convenient to use the same password for all your accounts. While this does make it easy to remember, it also makes it really easy for a hacker to get into several different accounts and do extensive damage. Most hackers will not be able to hack every account you have, or find every password that you create, but if they can find one password and it translates to several different sites, they can quickly drain your accounts, install viruses, and generally wreak havoc on your cyber life.

If you would like to make your passwords easy to remember, have one phrase or idea that you base your passwords on, then create several variations of that idea to make different passwords. Use numbers, symbols, and capitol/lowercase letters to mix it up and make it harder to guess. You can also create a spreadsheet or other log of all your passwords, but you need to protect that sheet with a separate password and ensure that you have adequate security to protect it, otherwise all your efforts will be in vain.

Don’t Share Everything

People often come to Computer Fix Salt Lake City after experiencing devastating effects from hackers and viruses on their computer, despite efforts to keep passwords and website safe. They may not even realize that they are making it easy for computer hackers to find their information through over-sharing on social media sites. People often use names of children, pets, maiden names, and other similar information for passwords because it’s easy to remember. If you have that information readily available on your social media sites, it can be easy for a hacker to guess your passwords just by surfing your sites. If you’re going to include that info on your profile, just make sure it’s adequately protected with privacy controls.

Shop Smart

If you plan to shop online (and many people do, because it’s convenient and easy), be careful about what information you leave behind. The more retailers you store information with, the more chances you have to be hacked. Instead, find sites that let you store your information in just one place and use it at several retailers online, or work with your bank to get a special “online debit card” that can be reloaded easily and quickly when you want to make a purchase, but that is not connected to the rest of your finances. That way if it does get hacked, all your cash is not vulnerable.

The online world is a great place to share and find information, and has many benefits. It also has many pitfalls for someone who is not careful about when and how they spend time online. Use these tips to protect yourself from computer hackers online.  

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