There are two big reasons why people get hacked. Software flaws and human behavior are the main reasons people get hacked. While there’s not much you can do about coding vulnerabilities, you can change your own behavior and bad habits.
Ask Donald Trump the former US President, his Twitter password is “maga2020!” Boris Johnson the ex-president of Boris Johnson who disclosed details about sensitive Zoom calls during the 2020 pandemic. These world leaders have also received security training by protection agencies.
Even though the stakes may not be as high, the risks for average people are equally real. Your credit card and private information could be stolen or shared with others if your accounts are not properly secured. Working out if your accounts have been hacked is a time-consuming and potentially frustrating process. It’s better to take steps to avoid being hacked. These are the things you can do in order to safeguard yourself.
Arguably the most effective thing you can do to protect your online accounts is turning on multi-factor, or two-factor, authentication for as many of your accounts as possible. This method requires a second piece of information, which is often a code sent by SMS or an app.
The secondary information is used to verify that you are trying to log into the account. An attacker will not be able to access an account that has multi-factor authentication enabled unless you have your phone.
There’s a guide to all the accounts that support the method here, but in the first instance you should turn it on for all the accounts that hold personal information that could be abused. You can use social media apps like WhatsApp and Instagram to communicate with your contacts.
Multi-factor authentication is not all created equal. Apps that generate codes are more secure than SMS codes, while physical security keys offer an additional layer of protection.
Let’s discuss passwords. It is 2021. It’s 2021.
Your passwords for online accounts must be unique and strong. This means that your passwords should not be shared across websites. It is important that your Twitter password doesn’t match your online banking password. Your home Wi-Fi network should not use the same passwords as Amazon.
The best way to do this is by using a password manager. Password managers can help you create strong passwords and securely store them. If the fact that they can stop you getting hacked isn’t enough to make you consider using one, a password manager also means you never have to struggle to remember a forgotten password again.
We recommend LastPass and KeePass, based on our tests of the top password managers out there.
You can make your enemies by clicking too quickly. If a text or email message contains information that could be clicked or tapped, it is often tempting to click right away. Don’t.
The pandemic has been used by hackers to launch a series of sophisticated phishing attacks as well dumb Google Drive scams.
These types of scams can be easily fall prey to anyone. It is important to be able to think before clicking. These scam messages are designed to con people into acting in ways they would not normally. They may include messages that claim an immediate response or demands from their boss.
Although there is no way to know the exact nature of every phishing attempt or scam, it’s possible to be more alert and reduce its impact. Be cautious, think before you click, and download files only from people and sources you know and trust.
Attacks can be made on every piece of technology, from the Facebook app to your smart lightbulb to your operating system. Companies are constantly finding bugs and fixing them. It is important to ensure that you are always up-to-date with the software and apps you use.
Your phone is the first thing you should do. Start with your phone. Navigate to the settings of the device and determine the operating system that you are using. For apps and games, Apple’s iOS 13 and above downloads updates automatically, although these settings can be customized. On Android, auto-updates can also be turned on by visiting the settings page in the Google Play Store.
After you have updated your phone you will need to decide which devices you want to update. These should generally be ordered by potential impact. You should list all computers and laptops you have. Next, go through your other connected devices. Remember: Everything is vulnerable, including your internet-connected chastity belt.
Protecting your communications has never been easier. Over the last half-decade, companies handling our personal data–including the messages we send and the files we upload to the cloud –have realized that encryption can help them as well as their customers. Encryption means your data is more secure against surveillance, and will not be available if it’s lost or stolen.
There are two main end-to-end encrypted messaging services, Signal and WhatsApp. Both apps automatically encrypt messages (including videos and photos) as well as voice and video calls. They both also let you use disappearing messages, which remove what you’ve sent after a set period of time. This can be used to keep chats secret, even from others who have access. We recommend Signal whenever possible. It collects less data than WhatsApp, and it isn’t owned or controlled by Facebook. If you are unable to get friends to switch to Signal, WhatsApp provides a lot better protection than other apps that use end-toend encryption.
For your emails, encrypted provider ProtonMail can protect your messages, and there’s also the option to use burner email accounts for mailing lists and purchases where you don’t want to hand over your personal data.
Encrypting your files can protect your information and reduce your risk of data theft if your device is hacked. iOS and iPhone both automatically encrypt hard drives. Use strong passwords or pins to protect your device. Encrypting the hard drive of your computer or laptop takes a little bit more work. To encrypt the startup disk of your Apple computer, turn on FileVault. On Windows, you have two options: Encrypt via Settings or BitLocker.
Your past could come back to haunt your. If you do not take action, the login information and old accounts that you have can be used against you. To gain access to accounts that people use, hackers often use information from data breaches in the past.
You can reduce the risk of your internet life being hacked by reducing how much information is available. It is easy to delete all your Google search history. Privacy-first Google options are also available.
There are many other things you can do in order to decrease your digital footprint. Find the old accounts you no longer use and delete them. This will reduce spam and make it harder for hackers to target your account. To find out if your data has been compromised, you can use Have I Been Pwned to search for it. Tor is also available to increase your anonymity online.
Original publication: WIRED UK.
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Publiated at Sun 29 August 2021, 13:43:18 (+0000).