5 ways to prevent being hacked online

The internet is rife with Trojans, viruses, malware, hackers and other scammers. With increased connectivity between devices, internet usage has also increased many folds. And it’s becoming difficult for even professionals to stay unaffected with online fraud, scams and hacking. While it is even more difficult for normal users to stay protected. With increased online activity like social media, internet, online shopping, online payments, net banking, its even more complicated and difficult to stay protected. While more than 70% of internet users are now ‘multi-device users’ meaning they may use several devices over the course of a day, the percentage is even higher in the age 25-to-49 age group.

Given the plethora of threats across these multiple devices, users need to be especially vigilant. We’ve got some recommendations for you to stay protected online.

1. Install antivirus software

 

Routinely, new viruses and other types of malware, including Trojans, ransomware, worms, adware and spyware are identified. While some widespread malware, such as the Bad Rabbit ransomware that appeared in 2017, which caused massive destruction. And with new malwares getting identified every day, it is even more crucial to have some good antivirus software installed.

Its must to have a good Antivirus installed on all the devices which connects to internet all the time and keeps updating its virus definition regularly. Also its better to have backup programs like Autorun Eater running to scan your storage devices like pendrive and sdcards. Its stops viruses or malwares from running automatically by disabling autorun.

Be sure to check out our Best Picks for Antivirus Software, and some free alternatives, to protect your PC.

2. Avoid Phishing emails

What is phishing?

Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.

 

Steps to avoid phishing

1. Think Before You Click!
2. Install an Anti-Phishing Toolbar
3. Verify a Site’s Security
4. Check Your Online Accounts Regularly
5. Keep Your Browser Up to Date
6. Use Firewalls
7. Be Wary of Pop-Ups
8. Never Give Out Personal Information
9. Use Antivirus Software

Please check out 10-ways-to-avoid-phishing-scams credits http://www.phishing.org/what-is-phishing

3. Beware the pitfalls of public Wi-Fi

 

Public Wi-Fi is great for people who need to stay connected while on the go or stay at coffee shop, Airport, public places etc. Public Wi-Fi is insecure as compared to home Wi-Fi which is secured using password or Cellular data like 4G. With public Wi-Fi comes the real price of having personal data or username and passwords including emails and financial accounts getting intercepted by hackers.

The simple answer is to stop using Wi-Fi when you’re out and about, especially with more and better cellular wireless connections increasingly available. That said, while a 4G connection is preferable, and not as simple to intercept, just like public Wi-Fi. Another way to make you public wifi connection secure is by using good VPN. VPN will keep data safe over internet as all the communication that happens over VPN are encrypted and secure.

4. Secure the Passwords

 

Your login credentials like username and password are the critical elements used to secure an online account, whether it may be email account, a bank account, or any other online access. With growing number of devices and dozens of online accounts per user, it can becomes even more difficult to secure them all.

There have been numerous cases in the past where user data have been hacked online by hackers and leaked to public. More than 70% of online users often use passwords that are dictionary words or date of births, anniversary or some commons words that are easy to remember, and then reuse them across multiple sites, after all how many passwords can someone remember? The reality is that in order to stay secure, users need to create strong passwords that are longer, random, and incorporate a variety of elements including both uppercase and lowercase characters, along with special characters and numbers.

     How to create Strong password?

  • Make your passwords very long : Your password should be atleast 8 characters long.
  • Don’t use a common phrase : Don’t use common words. Create password with mix of characters, random numbers, lowercase letters, uppercase letters and special characters.
  • Don’t reuse your password : Don’t reuse same password for all the online accounts.
  • Use two-factor authentication : Its alwasy a good practice to use two-factor authentication as two-factor provides a layer of security for only a minimal loss of convenience. Apps like Google authenticator or Symantic VIP comes handy for two-factor authentication.
  • Don’t ruin all this by using security questions : Security questions? Don’t use security questions which are easy to gues for any one, as this leaves security hole for your online accounts. Questions like Mothers maiden name?, your birth place, etc should be avoided as all these data are now available online.

5. Secure the network

 

Security always should not just focus on securing devices, but attention should be paid to the entire network. All the devices connects to router, If router is compromised then every device on the network in turn should be considered breached.

Users should take proper measures to secure router as well. Users should take measures to reduce the risk, starting with making sure that the router is fully up to date, with all the latest security patches, via a firmware upgrade. Be sure to only install firmware directly from the manufacturer, and to check periodically for the latest version. When shopping for a router, be sure to look for a model that integrates network-level antivirus support.

 

Sushil Singh

My name is Sushil Kumar Singh. I’m the founder, designer and editor of this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on my articles. You can write to me at sushilsingh@learningsolo.com. I’ll try to respond as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can connect with me directly on linkedin or github or Facebook.

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