Many of today’s data breaches are a result of hacking. This number is astoundingly high and in the past two years has significantly risen. While it may be scary to know that strangers can essentially break into your computer or devices and access your most personal information, it is important to know that you do not need to work in the Information Technology (IT) field to learn tips on preventing hacking. It is a good idea to stay abreast of the latest trends regarding cyber security as cybercrimes tend to get more sophisticated by the day.
While there is no one hundred percent guarantee to entirely avoid becoming a victim of hacking, there are certainly ways to minimize the risks. Below is a list of tips to help keep hackers away. Follow these steps and your data will be much safer.
- Whenever you are sharing files, folders, drives, or documents, encrypt them first. This way, if someone does gain access to your information, they will not be able to read it.
- Whether it’s on a phone, tablet, or computer, do not click unfamiliar links. These links are often viruses or malware and can cause irreparable damage.
- Do not respond to unexpected or strange emails or pop-ups.
- Do not share personal or financial data.
- If you upgrade to a new device, be sure to wipe your hard drive clean first.
- If you are using a website and need to enter credit card information or other important data, be sure that the website is secure first. There will be a lock icon before the URL if the website is secure. The URL will begin with HTTPS if the website is secure and HTTP (without the s) if it is not secure.
- Make sure you have the latest updates on your anti-virus software. Protecting your computer from viruses and malware is worth the time and cost.
- Make your passwords challenging. Change them often. Use different passwords for each account. Please do not use the same password for every account you own. If one account gets hacked, they will all get hacked. Using different passwords may be challenging to remember, but it will also minimize risks and damages should one account get hacked. If you happen to have a hard time remembering passwords, you can use a password management app.
- Use two-factor authentication. While it may seem like an extra unwanted task, it is a recommended safety precaution that will help keep your data out of harm’s way.
- Continue to learn about how to protect your data. Technology changes rapidly and with those changes come new challenges as well. Stay safe and stay secure.