• Facebook

You would lock your door when you leave your house so why not use an equal amount of security with your computer? Don’t tempt thieves to steal your personal information.

How do hackers hack your computers?

Hackers can access a personal computer through emails containing viruses and malware. They also use emails with links to websites containing viruses. Some use phishing, which tricks the user into going to a fake website to enter their personal information, like passwords or banking details.

It is possible that you can be hacked using public Wi-Fi, according to community.norton.com. Most public Wi-Fi venues are unencrypted and unsecured, leaving you vulnerable to the man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack. MITM is when a cyber-criminal exploits a security flaw in the network to intercept data. This allows the hacker access to sniff out information, while you browse online, along with your activities, account logins, and purchase transactions.

Things you can do

You should always be suspicious of emails and where they come from, because they might not be from a reliable source. When sent a link, always open up a separate browser and manually TYPE in the link to see where the link takes you. Unless you know for sure where the link came from, NEVER open up attachments. According to businessinsider.com, most hackers would use a Word Document, PDF, or EXE file. These are the most dangerous files to click on, if it’s from a hacker, so be aware.

You could use the two-factor authentication, which allows you to put your own password and then send a code to your phone to log-in. That way, if a hacker does get into your computer, they’ll need another password from another device to access information.

With passwords, you should always include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and punctuation. You should also change passwords frequently, especially to your bank accounts and emails. Don’t use the same password on multiple accounts. If you have a hard time remembering passwords, you could always use a password manager to help you, or write it down somewhere safe. A password manager is a software utility used to manage passwords and encrypted log-in information. It requires a password to be viewed correctly.

If you are hacked, make sure that you notify friends and family, just in case the hackers have information to your social media accounts. They may try to contact the people you know in various ways. Also, the hackers may use your account to help spread their spam, malware, and advertising.

If you’re using public Wi-Fi, don’t share personal data because you never know the connection’s level of security. Also, avoid logging into password-protected websites that contain sensitive information, like banking and social networking sites or even email. Be careful when using public mobile charging points “because it’s possible to hack into a smartphone that is charging via USB in a public place”, according to telegraph.co.uk.

Stay up to date on software updates on your computer and phone when they are available, for they will fix any patches or vulnerabilities.

According to telegraph.co.uk, look for a padlock “when using online services, such as email, online shopping or banking and social media.” The padlock symbol is in the front of the URL and the web address begins “https://” before you log-in or register. Those signs will let you know the website is secure.

Once you start practicing online safety, it will soon become a habit that can save you from a lot of problems in the future.