There are so many types of hackers out there, you could say that everyone is a hacker, especially in today’s age. As technology keeps evolving and the internet connectivity becomes stronger by the second, hackers have become bolder. They’re no longer just lurking around on forums under fake names scouring for ‘games to play’, they’re now using their skills to compromise your security.
For example, you have the white-hat hackers who are hired by companies to test their system’s for any vulnerabilities that may compromise information or money, then there are the black-hat hackers who use their skills to access private information with malicious intent. Such as stealing bank details or blackmailing people into paying ransom in order to get their files back.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for us normal people on the internet to know who is good and who is bad, especially with all the news stories about hackers leaking snapshots of celebrities phone numbers or even hacking into government databases. So how can we detect which ones are good and which ones are bad? Let’s take a look at some tips to keep hackers away.
Hackers are incredibly smart, so to counter-react to attacks, you need an even smarter specialist who knows how to set your company up for success in the cyber world. Professional IT companies are well versed in firewalls, programs, practices to keep hackers out of your business.
Use Strong Passwords
This may seem like an obvious one, but for many people it’s not that straight forward. Many people use their birthdays, anniversaries or even children’s names as there password to protect their information. This is bad because you’re basically giving hackers the key to your personal information. Instead, you should use a combination of characters, symbols and numbers that aren’t obvious or simple. For example using “password” as a password is bad because it’s not secure enough. A better one would be “p@55word”, with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
Enable 2-Factor Authentication
Though not all websites offer this, enabling two-factor authentication means that the site has to approve you before you can log in. How it works is, when you enter your username and password into a website that offers two-factor authentication, an SMS must be sent to your phone where you’ll need to enter a code in order to access your account. This means hackers would not only require your password, but also access to your phone number in order to get into your account too.
Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi
Since data breaches such as the one’s on Target and Home Depot keep appearing on the news, people are starting to be more aware. Which is great! Though if you’re someone who loves to use public Wi-Fi then it gets a bit tricky, especially since hackers can access people’s information on these types of networks. It could just be one person taking advantage of the free internet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if an entire group was dedicated to stealing information in these types of places. So to avoid this just use your 4G or 3G data connection instead, that way you know for sure no one is spying on your information.
Never Give Out Your Personal Information
More often than not hackers will ask you for personal information under the guise of receiving a prize, updating your security settings or helping you with a problem. For example, if you’re on Facebook and it says there’s a security check up that requires your phone number to process then don’t go through with it. A better way of handling this would be to delete the application, change your passwords and log into Facebook manually from another device instead. You can do this by going into your Facebook settings and clicking “deactivate your account” then going into the same settings a day later to reactivate it.
I hope these tips have been helpful! Though there will be more news stories of security breaches in the future, by following these simple rules you should be worry free about hackers!