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Handling Hackers: How to Best Protect Yourself and Your Information

Posted In Security, Technology Reviews - By Techtiplib on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 With No Comments »

We live in a world where technology is advancing rapidly and changing every day. The great thing about technology is that it makes our lives easier. Unfortunately, the downside is that much of our information is online, or on our devices—making it easier for hackers and dishonest people to steal your information and use it for their own gain. Having you computer hacked can cause problems for years. Today’s hackers aren’t interested in simple exploiting computers for the fun of it; they’re after money, and they’ll steal personal information to use against you. However, there are ways to protect yourself and you information from being hacked. Here are a few tips to consider if you want to keep yourself safe from hackers.

Automatic Updates are Key

However, there are ways to protect yourself and you information from being hacked. Here are a few tips to consider if you want to keep yourself safe from hackers.All operating systems have bugs that can potentially be exploited, and there is a large community that actively seeks out these bugs and offers feedback so developers can create solutions. These fixes are delivered in updates, and those who fail to install them risk running unsecured computers. Hackers are quick to exploit these bugs, so make sure your system is upgraded on a regular basis.

Develop Safe Web Browsing Habits

The Internet is filled with potential hazards, and avoiding them is essential for avoiding potential hacks. Don’t download anything from websites you don’t trust, and try to stick with popular websites. You’ll also want to scan everything you download for viruses and other forms of malware. Before entering your password, check the URL of the website you’re on. Hackers will sometimes create imitation websites to get visitors’ passwords. Recommended reading: Protecting online navigation with passwords.

Enforce Computer Rules

Even if you practice extremely safe computer habits, other family members might not. Make using your computer safely a rule, and make sure everyone knows how to use the computer safely. You might also want to give children non-administrator accounts that don’t allow them to install potentially dangerous software.

Anti-Malware Programs

Many computers come with a virus scanning program installed, and many people remove them because they slow their computers down and run occasional ads. Fortunately, there are a number of anti-malware programs that will not affect your computer’s performance. Active monitoring can cause performance problems, but it is generally not needed. Make sure to run scans on a regular basis to look out for viruses, spyware and other forms of malware.

Flash Drives and Other Storage

Often, malware infects computers through USB flash drives and other forms of removable data storage. By scanning these devices as soon as you use them, you can detect malware before it has a chance to infect your computer. Running a single program off a flash drive can lead to an infection, and flash drives have caused entire business networks to face problems. Being proactive can allow you to save yourself or your business from potentially dangerous scenarios.

If you have been hacked in the past, you know how frustrating it is to have your information stolen and used in ways that are beyond your control, and sometimes in ways that cause irrevocable damage. If you haven’t ever been hacked, pay close attention to the advice above and make sure you are adequately protected against future threats and hackers. Although you can’t always catch a hacker, it is important to do everything possible to cut them off, or even better, take precautions so they won’t hack you in the first place. Make your family and friends aware that your computer, email, or social media profiles have been hacked—a hacker can use your contact information to harm your friends and family too. Remember, prevention is the best way to deal with a hacker, so take these safety precautions today.

Recommended reading: 5 Ways to Protect Your Computer from Being Hacked.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who writes for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got her information about identity theft from personal injury lawyers Stewart, Humpherys, Molin, & Griffith. According to these professionals, hacking is a form of personal injury because of the damage it can do to a person’s reputation, finances, personal record, and other areas of someone’s life.

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