10 Ways to Avoid Being Hacked
If you look up the biggest hacking attacks in history, you will be surprised by the facts you will see. On a slightly smaller level, hackers hack passwords of Wi-Fi, streaming sites, and so on. You shouldn’t be surprised if you see your neighbor complaining about their hacked Optimum internet. On a higher level, they have literally hacked the most effective security systems, stolen tens of millions of credit cards, and have caused huge losses in terms of destructiveness and costs.
In short, hackers have never failed to amaze the world. Hackers are actually evil geniuses. These attacks are well orchestrated and ensure hiding the identity of the perpetrator behind. There could be different motives behind these hacking attempts. But mostly, it is about illegal profits. These attacks affect businesses, individuals, and even governments.
10 Effective Ways to Avoid Being Hacked
- Get Acquainted With Your Operating System.
- Review your Privacy Settings.
- Update Your OS Regularly.
- Enable Your Remote Location for Mobile Devices.
- Install Anti-Spy Software and Antivirus.
- Install an Effective Firewall.
- Use a Secure Browser.
- Practice Effective Password Habits.
- Improve your Browsing Habits.
- Ensure Regular Backups.
Let’s discuss this.
1. Get Acquainted With Your Operating System
You should be aware of the OS you are using. If you decide to change it, get your hands on a USB drive that is bootable. It should be able to override the current operating system’s boot process. Consider reformatting the hard drive too in order to use your new OS.
Before you replace the existing OS, make sure that it is aligned with your hardware closely. The developers of every operating system out there are constantly upgrading the programs in order to foil hackers. They also work on correcting minor programming faults. Change your OS only if the effort and time are worth the process.
2. Review your Privacy Settings
As mentioned, developers are consistently trying to upgrade security settings and privacy settings on the hardware. Whether it is Windows, iOS, or any other operating system, you can take advantage of various tools to check permission settings across a good number of apps. You can also receive reminders to clean up undesired or outdated permissions, which are a part of apparently friendly apps.
These tools allow you to get alerts in an event of some app accessing your confidential info. You can conveniently remove them with a single click. These tools are available for Apple, Android, and Microsoft operating systems.
3. Update Your OS Regularly
This is important. You have to be aware of all the recent fixes and patches recommended by your operating system’s vendor. Install the latest updates regularly. This practice will help you prevent any new malware or hacking attempts.
Also, make sure you run the latest version of the OS in your smartphones. If automatic updates are available, take advantage of the option.
4. Enable Your Remote Location for Mobile Devices
If your gadget is stolen or lost, it’s easier for even a not-so-pro hacker to access all your data. Tracking apps can help you locate your phone in such instances. Enabling device-wiping and remote location apps will also help you wipe all the sensitive info and data from your phone remotely.
Enabling them is as easy as doing a Cox Internet speed test. But it has many benefits. If your phone ends up in the wrong hands, with these apps in place, you can ensure refraining them from accessing your data.
Using pass locks on your smartphone is a great idea. A full alphanumeric password is quite effective. The biometric lock system is trending. But as per tech gurus, they are as secure as a carefully-thought password. To ensure better security, use a vault-app. It is an effective app that hides your data on the smartphone and essentially requires a password. Yes, it can be cracked by a seasoned hacker. But still, it is better.
Disabling Bluetooth on your device prevents hackers from exploiting the permission request and grant process. Therefore, turn off the Bluetooth function on your phone when you are not using it. And by turning off we mean turning off. Not putting it into the undetectable or invisible mode.
5. Install Anti-Spy Software and Antivirus
A layered approach is what we will recommend avoiding hackers and cyberattacks. Some programs claim to offer the capabilities of both an antivirus and an anti-spy program. But having them distinctly is more effective. None of these things can ensure 100% protection. Therefore, consider the following proactive browsing habits to prevent malware and hacking attempts. Also, ensure Internet safety for kids while they are using it. They may click a link that downloads malware in your system. It’s better to let them use the internet in your supervision.
Some effective tips for overall security are:
- Ensure reviewing all software documentation before agreeing to download
- Be cautious of clicking any pop-up boxes
- It is common for hackers to use spyware programs to get spyware downloaded
- Avoid downloading free anti-spyware software programs
- Don’t download them from an unknown site too
- Hackers have now been using these free programs to package spyware
- Be careful before clicking an unknown email attachment
- If the emails are from an unknown sender, they could be loaded with malware
- Update your anti-malware software to take advantage of the latest protections
6. Install an Effective Firewall
Make it a rule! Every system, connected by Internet should essentially run a firewall. And that too, at all times! Apple, Linus, and Microsoft operating systems have software firewalls, which are built-in. according to computer pros; they provide adequate security and protection. You can also take advantage of third-party alternatives.
The OS of Microsoft comes with a firewall that is already turned on. For Linux and Apple, you will have to enable firewall programs. Make sure you configure your preferred firewall via the privacy/security field of your system settings. Also, don’t run two firewalls simultaneous, they may cause a conflict.
Most wireless and wired modems and routers come with effective firewalls too. They just need to be properly configured. To maximize security:
- Consider changing the default name of your modem/router
- To hide your Wi-Fi network, consider turning off the SSID broadcasting
- To prevent hackers to guess your Wi-Fi password, change the current password on the router
- While choosing a password, make a complex mix of symbols, letters, and numbers that is hard to guess.
- Review your security options. Encrypting data on the network also ensures better security.
- Consider creating a guest network and password.
7. Use a Secure Browser
Browsers come with various privacy and security settings. You need to review them and set them according to your preference. For instance, you can limit website tracking of your online activities. This will increase your privacy and security. Mozilla Firefox is popular for its add-ons to enhance security.
These add-ons include:
With this browser extension, you can make sure that you are using encrypted connections. It also allows you to keep your browsing histories, usernames, and passwords private.
You can detect and remove flash cookies or super cookies using that. They are otherwise difficult to erase.
Make sure you keep your browser updated.
8. Improve your Browsing Habits
We love the internet! It has incalculable benefits and we are addicted to it. But when it comes to browsing the internet, the risk of cybersecurity concerns such as hacking, malware, and phishing becomes high. To avoid compromising your data, change your browsing habits.
- Make sure you are visiting secure websites.
- Block any pop-up ad that you see. You don’t want to end up on an illegitimate website.
- Again, pop-up ads are favorite avenues for seasoned hackers to access computers.
- Do not visit suspicious and questionable websites.
- Don’t open unsafe and unknown email attachments.
- Do not provide your passwords on unknown websites.
- Download only from trusted sources.
- Avoid using free and public Wi-Fi.
On your social media and email accounts:
- Use privacy and security settings.
- Be wary of opening unknown files.
- Avoid making calls to unknown numbers provided on suspicious sites.
9. Practice Effective Password Habits
Password is one of the favorite and most vulnerable avenues for hackers. To avoid sharing your private info and confidential data from prying eyes, come up with a strong password. Here are some quick tips:
- Exclude any personal and identifiable info. Such as your date of birth, phone number, social security number, and so on
- Avoid sound-alike letters or numbers for words. They are easy to guess
- Consider using a pass phase
- Don’t use the same password for every online account
- Consider using the multifactor verification option
- Use password management software
10. Ensure Regular Backups
Last but not least, your personal data is irreplaceable. Computers are expensive but replaceable. While it is almost impossible to retrieve hacked data. It would only be wise to make it a habit to take regular backups of your important data. With many effective cloud facilities, taking backups is no more a chore.
You can also use an external hard drive to take a backup of your data. You can ask a hosting Internet service provider about the online storage services they provide. Just make sure you have a backup somewhere because you don’t want to lose all your confidential data.
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