A fear of being hacked has been a fear for internet users ever since the net was established. Though being a victim of hacking can be a traumatic experience, making things as difficult as possible for a wannabe hacker can go a long way to actually thwarting them.
Shop Carefully Online
When you shop online you should always make sure that you are buying items from a website that you can trust. An easy way to spot whether or not a site is secure is to look out for the https prefix in your web browser. If you just see the http prefix, that you would normally see on a non-commercial website, then it’s advisable not to take the chance of being hacked. The site itself could be perfectly legitimate, and others may not have encountered any issues – but you could be the unlucky one, and end up with your credit card details being stolen.
How To Spot Phishing Attempts
Whenever you get an email from what looks like your bank NEVER click on any link until you are satisfied that it leads to your bank’s website. A successful phishing attack relies on the recipient of an email to blindly click on a link, and not to check the web address they arrive at. For anyone who then logs into that site, they will have delivered their user name and password into the hands of the people behind the phishing attempt. Banks do often have other security mechanisms in place, such as number combinations, but phishing attempts are becoming increasingly sophisticated also. It only takes a second or two to roll your mouse over a link to determine whether it is genuine, or if it leads to a site you’ve never heard of.
Protect Your Webcam
Recently, there’s been many stories about webcams being hacked. Obviously disturbing, a simple method of blocking any attempt to invade your privacy is to put tape over the camera when you’re not using it.
Update Security-Related Software
Keep all of your security-related software up to date, whether it’s for your computer or your website. Updating is not difficult, and, via fibre optic broadband will be very quick. In the case of an operating system like Windows, you’ll normally be prompted to accept the update installation. While, for anti-virus, anti-spyware software it’s important to keep them updated also, as viruses and ways of breaching vulnerable computers are evolving all the time.
Don’t Use Weak Passwords
Many people who use the net regularly will have passwords relating to many different websites – from social media accounts to banks. It’s tempting to use the same password for each site to save time, but it’s advisable not to do so. By having different passwords, and passwords that aren’t weak, i.e. your initials and date of birth, a hacker’s task is made all the more difficult.
Hackers prey on easy opportunities. To ward off their attacks, vigilance is really the most effective tool that you have.