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Simple Ways to Protect Yourself from Hackers

           
 JANUARY 16, 2019   by vishalturbo

In our last post we covered Tor Network and Browser and in this one, we will share some simple things that you should keep in mind to protect yourself from Hackers while you use the Internet.


1) Beware of Emails

Email is the most common thing that we use on a daily basis. Every second 2.4 million emails are sent, which makes them the right candidate for attackers to use emails to spy or inject malware on computers easily. Usually, hackers perform phishing and social engineering attacks on the victims, where the victim thinks he/she is on an original website while they are actually using a fake website.

For example, hackers send emails to victims by using fake domain names(close to original domain names, like for citibank.com they can use citibank.xyz.com and many times users fall for the trap) and they lead victims to register on fake websites, where these fake websites look like the original ones and thereby stealing crucial user data.

To avoid spam emails, we can use some disposable email clients like temp-mail.org. If you receive an email with some URL to visit or some .exe file to open from an unknown user, please contact your email hosting company immediately and also mark the email as spam.

Make a filter for spam emails to stop receiving spam emails automatically. You can check your email address on a website called https://haveibeenpwned.com/, to check whether it is compromised in past data breaches or not.

How to check whether your email is pawned


2) Use strong passwords

So many data breaches occur due to weak passwords where users have kept the password same as their email address or their birth date etc.

A password should have minimum 8 characters and not only alphabets but also numbers and special characters in it. We should not disclose our passwords to anyone, your password should contain words that nobody can guess, especially, your bank passwords, it should be strong upto 14-20 characters.

Never use your username, actual name, or any common word as a password. Also, avoid setting your passwords for public places like cyber cafes.

If you have doubt that someone has seen your password, you should immediately change your password. Don't reuse your old passwords and never share your passwords with anyone via social media apps and websites like Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, Twitter etc. If you can't remember your passwords than you can save your password in some notebook(handwritten, safest way) or download some good and trusted password manager app.


3) Beware of Torrent sites and Private sites

Torrent apps and some torrent websites have been taken down but still many websites are working. The hackers on these websites will target users who download free files from torrent sites. When we open torrent websites, we see random advertisements, which can slow your browser, in whatever device you open, they can even hack your personal files saved on your computer and phone.

Not only these websites but software like Windows Loader, and some other pirated software may install some additional malicious software which can slow down your computer and can even monitor what you do remotely.


4) Public Open Wi-Fi

Open wifi is an unsecured network available for anyone to use. It can be connected without providing any password or network security key. Public wi-fi is available at places like airports, cafes, hotels etc. Hackers can perform attacks like a man in the middle attack or packet-sniffing attack etc on computers connected to public wi-fi networks. We can protect ourselves from hackers nby adopting few precautions like disabling sharing option before connecting to any public wi-fi network, browsing only HTTPS websites, disabling auto join for public wifis etc.

It is recommended to use VPN services while using open wi-fi to prevent data leaks or theft. Never access your bank account on a public wi-fi and never make any online payment.

Very often, hackers also use public wi-fi networks to spread all sorts of malware and trojan software to all the devices connected. Beware of fake hotspots at public places.


5) Two Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is the best way to protect yourselves from hackers. 2FA is a login method wherein apart from your password, the website/app will ask for a code which is provided by the authenticator app on your mobile phones. 2FA is also at times dual authentication where the second one is generally an OTP sent over SMS or via call on your registered mobile number.

Apps like Google Authenticator are very good in providing digital two way authentication and many websites are adopting it. So do enable two way authentication on the websites and applications that you use.


6) Install Antivirus on your devices

An antivirus is a computer program which detects malicious files and software, trojans, worms etc. We should regularly run an antivirus scan on our devices(mobile and computer) to remove trojans and worms or any other suspicious file downloaded.

Antivirus constantly monitors the activity of all the programs/software running on your machine. Antivirus also detects any malicious code on web pages, cleans virus for incoming and outgoing emails, removes spyware software which slow down your system etc. Some antivirus software has some fix tool which can restore the files which are damaged by any virus etc.

Windows defender is a default security tool that comes with Windows operating system.


7) Install Updates when they come

Updates are very important because every update has a new feature or some critical patch work and security loopholes fix. As companies are constantly testing their applications and discovering new issues and loopholes, hence they release updates with fixes for the issue found, without which your softare will be left vulnerable to attacks by hackers. Over 90% of all software updates have bug fixes which fix security vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of internet attacks.




Conclusion

Hope this article proves helpful to you, Stay safe and keep your devices safe because in this connected world, you are safe only if your device(Mobile & Computer) is safe.


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