In the digital age, it is difficult to guarantee your privacy and protection, whether it’s credit card information or your identity. There are some precautions you can take, however, to make it more difficult for hackers to access your private details. Here are some tips for navigating safely on the computer: 10 ways to protect yourself from hackers.
Sources: NewsObserver.com, WikiHow.com, FBI.gov, Chris-Pirillo.com
Though it can be hard to remember a dozen different passwords for different websites, it’s not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. If a hacker determines the password for your email, for instance, this would prevent him/her from also gaining access to your bank accounts, work records, purchasing history, and more.
Oftentimes, programs will release upgrades that contain patches and new security firewalls. Be sure to upgrade these programs to close the avenues that hackers use, and uninstall software that you don’t use anymore that may open up new portals for people to access your information.
Normally available for a small annual fee, antivirus protection ensures that worms, spyware, malware, and viruses cannot get into your computer. Be sure to keep this up to date as well, as they are constantly being updated to respond to new threats.
When you’re browsing online, ensure your firewall protection is turned on. This goes hand-in-hand with antivirus protection to steer you away from sites that may pose security risks. It will often warn you if you are venturing unsecured territory.
Particularly if you are entering credit card details, ensure that whatever site you are on is secured. Web address that begin with “https” are authenticated. The “s” stands for “secure” and it means that the site and server you are using is secure.
Beware of sites that offer to save your login information if you are using shared computers, as this means that whoever gets on after you would be able to access your information.
Even if the email is from somebody that you do know, if it seems suspicious, don’t open it. Infections can enter your computer through friends who have had their address books hacked, so it’s always worth a quick double check if you’re not sure.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. A pop-up claiming that you’ve just won $10,000 is ALWAYS a scam, and clicking on it may take you to unsecured, dangerous websites. Also be sure to only download something from a source you know and trust. Failure to do so is the easiest way to open your computer up to hacking.
Information that is shared over public Wi-Fi networks is readily available to anybody else on that network. Be sure to stick to authenticated websites, and don’t share any personal information when you are working on a public network such as in cafes, libraries and schools.
Your computer has a unique IP address that allows access to all of your files. Never give out your IP address. Anybody with it will be able to access anything on your hard drive, and may even be able to crash your computer altogether.
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