5 Tips to Avoid Being Hacked

In our modern digital world, one of the worst nightmares that a PC, tablet or smartphone user would never want to happen is their account or even their computer and all of its contents being hacked by an anonymous cyber criminal. In 2014 alone, there were thousands of hacking cases and some even made headlines especially those that involved celebrities with their private and revealing photos leaked online.

Other companies like Sony also had hacking issues that sparked conflict between the US and North Korea before the year 2014 ended. Hacking is really a big enemy to big business companies as well as individual users and its consequences range from simple easy to solve ones to complicated ones which are often irreversible and totally destructive. No one really wants to get their personal accounts hacked or their business computers and all the crucial files in it to be compromised so it is important to be aware of some preventive measures that will stop cyber criminals from ever getting access to your files and other important data.

In this tutorial, we will be giving out some tips to help your computer and your online account harder or even impossible to hack. Being a victim of this crime is really devastating but you can take some steps to stop any of it from ever happening so if you’ve been paranoid lately because of the security breaches that were exposed by the recent hacking incidents thinking that your machine isn’t that well protected from hacking then you will need to follow the steps that we will be showing below.

1. Avoid Downloading Stuff from Unverified Sites

Some websites that are around today are actually instruments for spreading malware and other malicious software that help hackers do their destructive job. Most of the websites that belong to this category have very enticing offers that pop-up on the screen asking you to click on them. The offers range from winning a promo with the latest gadget or cash as a prize.

In other cases, malwares can also be clothed as download buttons and links promising a better performance for your computer or a free download of an otherwise premium version of a software that you badly need on your machine. When you encounter websites that has these types of contents and pop-ups, don’t ever give in to what is being offered and just browse away towards a safer website or web domain. Remember, it is always good to commit mistakes on the side of caution.

2. Don’t Respond to Emails Asking for Your Private Information

One of the golden rule in Internet Safety is to keep your personal information private and companies will never ask it from you by way of email or any other electronic means. For instance, Facebook or Twitter will never ask you to give out your password to them through email or your bank will not ask for your account or credit card number and other crucial banking information in the same means.

If you receive an email that appears to have come from your bank and is asking you to click something that will lead you to a webpage where you can enter your bank account details then you need to stop there and never enter anything! It is a “Phishing” attempt and any information that you will key in would be collected by the hacker so they can rip you off of your hard-earned money that is stored in your account.

In other cases especially when your social media account is compromised, it will be used for posting malicious contents and the hacker will try to exploit money in exchange of returning your account to you so the next time you see an email in your inbox that is asking you to enter your information then all you need to do is ignore it or call your bank and ask them about the contents that are stated in the email that supposedly comes from them.

3. Always Log Out from Your Accounts After Using Public Computers

Public computers, as its name suggest are used by many people each day. If you happened to be in a situation that you need to log in to any of your accounts (whether social media, online banking and others) using a public computer, be sure to log them out after you do some activity on any of them. You can also use InPrivate browsing in Internet Explorer or Incognito Tab browsing in Google Chrome so you won’t leave any trace of your online activity. You surely don’t want the next person to be viewing your wall and any other stuff that are stored in your accounts so be sure to log out from them always to keep yourself protected from hacking.

4. Maintain a Good Antivirus Suite and a Firewall

A Firewall software protects your computer from any undesired incoming and outgoing communications done by apps and some other components of the operating system which can become instruments to a hacker. Windows has a built-in Firewall that is set to work automatically so you won’t need to worry that much. If you are using Windows 8.1 you will also find a software called Windows Defender that is built-in with the operating system. This software protects your Windows machine from any malware and other forms of threats coming from different sources both online and offline.

What’s awesome about it is that it is not heavy on your computer’s memory and it works efficiently at the background but if you want something that is bigger and more complete in terms of features then you can choose to purchase other third-party antivirus software like AVG, Avast, Avira and Trend Micro to name a few.

5. Create Strong Passwords for Your Online Accounts

Another important step that you need to do in order to protect your online accounts from being hacked and its contents compromised is to create strong passwords. But you might ask what a strong passwords is made of? How should you create a password that is hard or even impossible to hack in order to protect your social media and above all, your online banking account? Here are some pointers that you can follow:

  • Never use your name, birthday, the name of your husband or boyfriend as your password. In our modern age of social media, it is easy to find clues and facts about you which can give idea on what password you used so be sure not to include a name or birthday in any of your passwords.
  • Use a combination of upper and lower case letters or you can also include symbols and numbers. Only use words that are not related to each other like “MonkeyHoBbit!342”. If you are not good in memorizing then you will need to write down your password on something and keep it away from other people’s reach.
  • Never save your passwords in your cellphone or your computer especially if you’re not the only one who’s using the device.
  • Never use one and the same password for all your accounts.
  • Don’t reuse passwords that you have already used before.

Hacking is Potentially Destructive But is Easy to Prevent

The crime called hacking takes many forms and can even victimize anyone but it’s not that hard to prevent it. All it takes is an active participation on your side in ensuring that your accounts are well protected by strong passwords and making sure that you are not visiting sites or downloading contents that are potentially harmful. Just follow the tips that we have given above and you’re sure to protect your computer and all your online accounts from any unauthorized access and usage!