How You Can Avoid Getting Hacked

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What online privacy and security looks like today

Do you spend the majority of your working hours online, and have you been hacked before? Are you taking enough precautions to protect yourself from online spammers? Surfing the web nowadays doesn't always go without harm. Here are a few ideas on how you could prevent yourself from getting hacked. By getting familiar with a few preventative actions, you have a better chance of being safe in the online space than not learning and doing anything about it.

Do you think you are safe working from your home office? You might be sitting at home, finishing off a project you are passionate about, thinking you have got this. But have you ever thought about the possible surprises and dangers the internet can hold? And are you aware of the types of scams going on in the virtual space and what to do if you become the victim of virtual bad guys like scammers, criminals, and spies? Well, here are a few ideas to help you.

Key actions to take to preserve your privacy

1. Mind your passwords. Opt for safe passports; create ones that are not too easy to figure out. Good passwords are long, complex, and not general. Don't pick anything predictable or easy to find, like parts of your name, your birthday, or your pet's name. The biggest mistake people make is to provide intimate things as passwords when online spies and criminals are masters at figuring them out. It's a good idea to use something so random that it looks accidental, like those some sites give you automatically, and you can change it after first signing in. If you can't come up with a good one, you can use a password generator to help you out. Make sure to remember it! 

2. Updating your applications. Why is it crucial to update your applications? If you don't update them, it makes you an easy target for hackers. Companies don't just send you an update to rob you of your time. They do so because updates entail significant security patches meant to prevent hacking their weak spots! Since no software is perfect, you are never really safe. It can only take some time for some internet geeks to break it. So it's a good thing to update your browser, mobile OS, or applications you use regularly to keep the cyberpunks away!

3. Securing your social media accounts If you can't live without social media platforms, you should at least secure your account well! Open and learn about each platform's privacy and security settings thoroughly. On Facebook and Instagram, you have the option to keep your photos private from unknown people, use 2FA, and customize your privacy settings to enable when and how others can see what you post. If you are a fan of Twitter, by using 2FA, you can keep your account safer and make it harder for pirates to mess with your platform. It is worth spending some extra time on some extra research regarding these security settings on each site, as it can give you long-term peace. Alternatively, you could just delete your account. Ask yourself if you really need your account and how you could use your time more productively than reading social media content and seeing what your friends post...

4. Use two-factor authentication (2FA). This makes sure that you are the owner of your own account and not someone else who has logged in. Many online platforms offer you this; all you need to do is provide another piece of personal identity information. It can be biometric data or a texted code sent to you to ensure you are the actual user. If you invest in a security key, which is a kind of tiny and portable hardware that you can sync with your accounts, you can work much safer. 

5. Choose encrypted services. It ensures that your online data remains private by not allowing hackers to make use of it. How does it work? by transforming information into unconnected cryptographic symbols. And only trusted parties can decrypt these! The more things you encrypt, the safer you are. You can encrypt your email services, for instance. It is worth it to pay a small subscription fee if needed, but it is worth this small investment. Another good idea to encrypt is a chat function. If you open a Signal account, for example, your secure messaging is guaranteed!

6. Using VPN. You might have been wondering if you should or shouldn't use a VPN. Virtual private networks are assumed to be quite basic in terms of your privacy, but they don't always work very well. VPNs are mostly used for hiding some of your activities, such as the websites you visit. They work through the servers of a private company, and they are also a good way to hide your web activity from your internet service provider. 

7. Avoid the following content: suspicious websites with strange names and outlooks. Unrequested emails, weird senders, and attachments: you don't want to open social media messages that only contain a link. Any pop-up windows, porn sites, and similar shady websites Watch out for what you click on, and don't visit any unfamiliar sites!

With the rising numbers of employees working from home since the beginning of the pandemic, our current times have taught us to watch our online safety and that we shouldn't take it for granted. Therefore, if you want to be safe and keep your online presence private, you need to enhance your security. By taking these steps, you can. Good luck!
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