In today’s online world, privacy is a rare commodity. Big businesses know everything there is to know about you thanks to data brokers that collect and compile all the data crumbs you leave when browsing the internet. However, the implications of a criminal hacking team prying deep into your personal data much outweigh this infringement of privacy. Big businesses want to sell you goods while hacking groups aim to take them. They’ll cash in on their illicit access to your life as soon as possible, preferably before you even realise there’s an issue. Here are some things you may do to avoid being hacked in the future.
Multi-Factor Authentication should be used.
Turning on multi-factor, or two-factor, authentication for as many of your online accounts as possible is arguably the most effective way to safeguard your online accounts. Along with a password, the method uses a secondary piece of information—often a code created by an app or communicated through SMS.
Because the codes are frequently accessible on the phone in your pocket, this additional piece of information helps to confirm it’s actually you trying to log in. Even if you have an easy-to-guess password (which we’ll discuss later), an attacker will be unable to gain access to an account with multi-factor authentication enabled unless they had your phone.
In the first instance, switch it on for any accounts that include personally identifiable information that could be misused. Apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and your email accounts are examples of messaging apps.
However, not all types of multi-factor authentication are created equal. Code-generating apps are believed to be more secure than receiving codes via SMS, and physical security keys add an extra layer of security.
Get yourself a password manager.
Let’s speak about passwords for a moment. Even if it’s a disposable account, you shouldn’t use “password” or “12345” as a password.
You should use strong and unique passwords for all of your online accounts. This essentially means that they should be long, contain a variety of character kinds, and not be duplicated across many websites. Your Facebook password should not be the same as your internet banking password, and neither should your Wi-Fi network or your google account.
Using a password manager is the best way to achieve this. Password managers help you set up secure passwords and store them safely.
Recognizing a Phishing Attack
Clicking too quickly can be your worst enemy. When we receive a new email or text message that has anything that can be touched or clicked, our instincts frequently drive us to do so immediately.
These types of fraud can be perpetrated by anyone. The most important thing to remember is to ponder before clicking. Scam messages try to persuade people to act in ways they wouldn’t normally—for example, by posing as instant demands from a supervisor or messages requesting an immediate reaction.
Although there is no infallible way to detect every form of phishing attempt or scam—scammers are always improving their game—being aware of the problem can help decrease its effectiveness. Be cautious, consider your options before clicking, and only download things from individuals and sites you know and trust.
Everything should be updated.
Every piece of technology you use is vulnerable, from your phone’s Facebook app to the operating system that runs your smart lightbulb. Companies, thankfully, are constantly discovering and addressing new issues. As a result, it’s critical that you obtain and update the most recent versions of the apps and software you use.
Begin with your smartphone. Find out what operating system you’re running in your device settings and upgrade it if it’s not the most recent version.
After you’ve updated your phone, you’ll need to figure out which of your devices needs to be updated next. These should be completed in the order of potential impact. Any laptops or computers you own should be at the top of your list, followed by any other linked gadgets in your life. Remember that everything, including your internet-connected chastity belt, is vulnerable.
Everything should be encrypted.
It’s never been easier to keep your communications secure. Companies that handle our personal data, such as the messages we send and the files we upload to the cloud, have discovered that encryption may benefit both them and their consumers during the last half-decade. When you use encrypted services, your data is more protected from prying eyes and won’t be accessible if your device is lost or stolen.
There’s an option to use burner email accounts for mailing lists and purchases if you don’t want to give out your personal information.
Encrypting your files on your devices, in addition to your messages, can help lessen the risk of your data being compromised if you’re hacked or lose your devices. Just make sure your devices have a strong password or PIN.
Remove Your Digital Trace
It’s possible that your past will come back to haunt you. If you do nothing, the previous online accounts you no longer use, as well as the login credentials associated with them, can be used against you. Hackers frequently leverage information from earlier data breaches to get access to people’s current accounts.
Reducing the quantity of information about your online life that is publicly visible will help reduce your chance of getting hacked. Regularly deleting your Google search history is a straightforward step, but you can also utilise Google alternatives that prioritise privacy.
There’s a lot more you can do to lessen your digital footprint besides this. Locate and delete any old accounts that you no longer use. It will cut down on the quantity of spam you receive as well as the number of methods hackers can target you.