With several years of internet and web experience, I don’t need to be a certified online security expert before I can tip you on how to keep your valuable information from being appropriated by shady people on the web. Some of the tips that are buttressed in this article involves the application of simple common sense while others might require you to be a bit tech-savvy to get through with them.
It is important to know that you can’t totally prevent getting hacked even if you follow every online security advice out there, these tips will only reduce your chances of being hacked easily. Staying safe on the internet also reduces the risk of losing your account information and other valuable credentials such as your credit/debit card details.
Below are eight things you should decease from to avoid being an easy prey for hackers.
- Jumping into every link without investigation
Phishing is when a fake website is disguised to look exactly like the legitimate one just to be used as a medium to extort valuable information from people. Ignorant and unsuspecting individuals always fall victim to this online scam tactics, it normally starts with an email asking them to update or login to their online bank accounts or social media accounts.
Before you follow a link that is asking you to login to your account or update any information, check the address bar, if you’re not still certain, copy the link address and search it on Google just to be sure you’re on the right track.
- Always assuming that security can take care of itself
Most newbie and non-techies are guilty of this one; you make use of your laptop or PC everyday with public Wi-Fi and no active and up to date antivirus or anti-malwares. You even comfortably disabled Windows Defender which is eventually your last line of defence. It’s high time you take these security measures in keeping your system and mobile phone safe or end up blaming yourself one day.
- Downloading of Keygens and Crack/Nulled files
Obviously, many of us must have been involved in this, we were just lucky enough to get away with it. We unnecessarily try to save money by looking for the nulled or cracked version of that expensive software programs and their keygens.
Doing this will only leave you vulnerable, hackers understand how desperate you are so they try to leverage on that. They will freely offer you what you’re looking for but not for free in the real sense, malicious codes or files are always hidden within the ‘free’ software you downloaded. Don’t be surprised to know that every keystroke you make on your computer is being sent to a hacker somewhere in another country.
- Read More: How to Protect Your Site from Hackers
- Not updating your software or OS
Most tech companies frequently release updates in order to patch severe and minor security loopholes in the previous version of their products. Be sure to download and run this updates anytime you receive the notification whether on your iOS or Android phone or on your windows device, it might be a serious security patch for that operating system or software you’re using.
- Using weak or guessable passwords
Try to be more constructive with your passwords, avoid using some easily guessed words or figures like your birth year, your favourite colour, your daddy’s surname or your spouse’s pet name. Your passwords should be fairly complex with capital letters, numerals and symbols. Also avoid using the same password for every website. Even if you happen to forget the password, every website and app have a password recovery system.
- Not taking actions when you feel your account has been compromised
You logged into your account and it is looking suspicious; like someone else just recently logged in, your password must have been dumped. A password dump might not be your fault but not taking action after realising will definitely not spell well. It is always up to you to immediately request for a password change whenever you feel someone else knows your login details.
- Granting account access to unverified apps
If an app is requesting to view your account information and or post with your account, first make sure the app is from a verified publisher before hitting the accept button. Many Facebook and other social media users have been embarrassed after their accounts were used in promoting pornographic materials and sending spam messages to their friends.
Some resorted to saying that they were attacked by hackers, not knowing that they were the ones who ignorantly granted their account access to the wrong apps. What should you do in a case like this? Simply go to the account settings and revoke all permissions.
- Making use of someone else’s PC or mobile phone
Generally, there is nothing wrong with using a friend’s PC or mobile phone, you just have to be very watchful of the information you enter while using them. Browsing with incognito tab is good but not good enough, there might be a keylogger installed and running in the PC without your knowledge. The keylogger saves every keystroke you make on the PC for the PC owner to see, this includes all the passwords and usernames you may have typed.
These are blunders you should avoid to help you stay safe but as mentioned earlier, avoiding these mistakes is not a guarantee that you won’t get hacked, it only helps to lower your chances of falling a victim. You should also play your own part by taking extra measures on keeping your valuable information safe at all cost.
This Article is contributed by Henry and He blogs at Naija Android Arena