In today’s technology-focused world, data hacking is becoming an incredibly common problem. If US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, and computer giant, Yahoo, can be hacked, then surely the rest of us are at risk?
Photo source The problem with being hacked is that it can have a big impact on your private and business life. This is because, when you’re hacked, your personal data is stolen. This can be data linking to your identity, your finances, your customers - anything. Being hacked can even lead to you being sued if the data that is hacked belongs to your clients.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent hackers from attempting to hack your data. However, what you can do is understand how they attempt to hack data and what you can do to protect your data.
One of the most common ways that data is stolen is via phishing scams. What’s a phishing scam? A phishing scam is an email that appears to be sent by a trusted company asking for personal information. However, it has actually been sent by a hacker. The reason that phishing scams are so successful is because these emails are so well designed. Most phishing emails look and sound like the real deal. It will even say in the sent from bar, the name of the company the email is meant to be sent from.
However, although it can be hard to tell a phishing email from a legitimate email, there are ways to do so. First, click on the company name showing in the sent from bar - the email should link to the company in some way, and should not be a random email. For instance, a legitimate email from Paypal would be sent from ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. If the email is requesting personal information and you’re not sure if it’s legitimate, even if the email address seems to be, call the company. (It’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.)
If you’re someone who uses their computer while out in public, such as at the library, it pays to be mindful of who is around. Because, believe it or, data can be stolen remotely, without anyone even touching your computer. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
There are devices, such as a USB analyzer, that can be placed near to a computer to track what you're doing. Of course, if you’ve got a good firewall, this type of hacking should be detected, and the hacker blocked. So, it’s important to ensure that you have a good firewall in place if you want to keep your computer safe when using it in public.
Often, the ways that data is hacked is via a password that isn’t secure enough. A lot of people presume that any password will protect them from being hacked, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. The longer and more complex a password is, the less likely that you will be hacked. This is because longer and more complex passwords are much more difficult for hackers to guess.
The key to protecting your devices from hackers is a long, alphanumeric password. This is a password that’s made up of both letters and numbers and is totally random. The most common passwords are dates of birth or years that relate to something, such as the year a certain sports team won a sporting event.
These are far too easy to guess, as hackers can find out that kind of information fairly easily. So, it’s best to opt for a password that is totally random and combines different things. Such as an important date, a food that you love, and your luck number. For instance, something like ‘29chocolate03’ would be hard to guess.
There’s no way that you can totally protect yourself from getting hacked, but the above tips should help.
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