Hackers are the programmers who possess the knowledge and skill to access your private and confidential information for their own personal gain. Imagine a total stranger going through your personal images and chat. The horror is just unexplainable. Today, I’ll share 8 sure-shot ways to protect yourself from hackers
Have you heard about the latest Ransomware attacks being the favorite of cybercriminals? These malware attacks encrypt all the files on your system (or network if you’re an organization) and ask you to pay the ransom to get a hold of your own information.
Paying for Your Own Files. Just Horrible!
With cyber hackers becoming more sophisticated and clever with the cyber attacks, it is important to act against them by becoming educated and vigilant to protect your precious data. So, let’s begin now…
1. Update Your Operating System and Other Software
First and foremost, you have to make sure you have the updated OS and software running on your system. This is an essential step to ensure security on your system. Updated patches for the OS and software often come with measures against the latest cyber threats and existing vulnerabilities.
Always ensure that you have the latest security patches installed and existing software updated to prevent any loopholes from becoming the reason behind the cyber attack on your system. Also, consider replacing software that has become obsolete and doesn’t serve any purpose to you.
Remember the golden rule: If you don’t use it, remove it.
2. Follow the Layered Security Approach
If you’re a consistent reader of this blog, you must know about the concept of layered security approach. However, don’t worry if it sounds new to you. I’ve got you covered.
The layered security approach means installing and running a full security suite on your network which includes a firewall, antivirus, anti-malware and other security software. The firewall will block all the unwanted or suspicious packets from entering your network. Consider it a shield between your private network and the Internet.
An antivirus software will implement methodologies and protocols including running a full scan of your system and removable disks to prevent any malicious software or virus from affecting your system. It may also quarantine or delete the already infected files in the background to keep you secure.
A malware is a software that works in conjunction with firewall and antivirus software to provide zero-day protection by detecting the suspicious pattern and protecting your system from harmful malware including Ransomware attacks.
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3. Two-Factor Authentication
Many popular social media platforms and financial apps use two-factor authentication. This often includes sending a code to your registered mobile number and your email id. It helps prevent malicious users from taking control of your private data.
Make sure to set up two-factor authentication for your banking and credit card transactions. Further, enable push notifications for your email. Remember, if someone gets access to your email, it may only be a matter of time before all related accounts get compromised.
4. Avoid Public Wi-fi and Upgrade Your Router
Although free Internet sounds tempting, it is much better to stick with your mobile Internet. Public Wi-Fi is a soft target for hackers who often look around for people using the free service and as soon as your guard is down, the hacker will have hold of all your information including bank account, credit card information and other sensitive data.
The best thing to do is to completely abstinent yourself from using public wi-fi. However, if you really need to, just do it behind a VPN. A secure VPN app will help to keep you secure and safe from the malicious snooping of hackers.
While you’re at it, make sure to check the wireless router in your home. If it’s too old, invest in a new one. Often old routers become a reason for attack because they lack the sophisticated patch and firewall required to prevent the cyber threats.
5. Password Etiquettes
As cliché as it sounds, it is important to have a strong secure password and change it frequently. Also, never use the same password for all your online accounts. If you’re doing that, stop right away. You’re digging a hole for yourself.
I know it is easier said than done. But it’s important to create a strong password. The longer, the better. Try to come up with a random phrase and create a password out of it with a combination of alphanumeric keys and special characters.
If it is too much for you, invest in a password manager for yourself. It will generate strong random passwords for you and all you will have to manage is one super-secure password that will act as a master key for all your passwords.
Easy, right? Let’s move forward…
6. Practice Secure Web Browsing and Smart Surfing
Did you know your web browser can bring in unwanted malware and virus attacks on your system? It’s true. The only thing you can do to prevent is to practice secure web browsing and smart surfing. Ok, let me tell you how.
Activate security mechanisms on your web browser for once and disable all cookies and clear your cache. Further, configure your web browser for maximum security and ensure HTTPS browsing. HTTPS guarantees the website you’re visiting is secure and encrypted.
Additionally, you can also download and use the safest browser on the market Tor which keeps your identity and web browsing activities secure and under the wraps over the Internet.
7. Never download from suspicious sources or pop-up ads
You must have seen pop-up ads or banners whenever you visit a site on the Internet. It’s annoying and omnipresent. Yes! No matter how much you try it just doesn’t go away. This can be a bait for naive users to share their information.
Remember, avoid clicking a pop-up ad or a banner at all times. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is. You must never download anything from suspicious sources or pop-up ads that may unleash a malware or a dangerous virus in your system.
8. Always Backup Your Files
It may not seem really important right now but this may just well be your saviour if something unfortunate happens. The infamous malware attacks also called Ransomware encrypt your precious and confidential information and then ask for a ransom fee to release your data back to you.
To counter the situation, you should always ensure current backup of your files is maintained on a remote server that can help you get back up on your feet faster and without succumbing to these cyber attackers.
Our Final Advice
These were the top 8 tried and tested ways to protect yourself from hackers. I hope you will implement these methods in your personal home and business organisation to protect and shield against cyber attacks which can happen anywhere and anytime.
The final piece of advice is to keep yourself updated and stand against these faceless criminals by having preventive and backup plans to deal with every situation.
Stay safe and vigilant always.