A person who hacks is called a hacker. He or she may adapt software or hardware to achieve a goal that is not part of a system’s original design. There are white hat hackers and black hat hackers. Of course, the latter has malicious intent and will exploit security vulnerabilities to vandalize a system and steal data to sell on the black market. So, can you dodge hackers that you can’t see? The answer is: most of the time. Here are a few tips to help you avoid hackers in general.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
You know that having a strong password is a necessity. However, you should consider implementing two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication too. 2FA processes often require the user to enter a one-time code when he or she attempts to log on to a system. That one-time code can be delivered via email or SMS. Other alternatives include the Fido U2F key and Google Authenticator.
If you are thinking of using Google Authenticator, you will love how convenient it is. You just need to download the app, and when a system prompts that you need to verify your identity, your app automatically notifies you. Just a few taps on your smart device’s screen and you are in!
Don’t Stick with One Password Forever
You need to start taking note how you and your co-workers log into online services. Have you been using the same password for the past five years? Well, it is time to change it. One of the ways hacks happen is when the hacker guesses the password via brute force. It is primitive, but it works for them. That’s not all. People who have been using the same password for years may also re-use it on other sites. Hence, your accounts on other sites may be compromised.
So, how do you create a complex password? Your passwords should contain letters, punctuations, numbers, and must be long. Oftentimes, people use passwords that are too short. By long, we mean more than 10 characters. Hackers nowadays have access to modern hardware that can hack weak passwords within seconds. You need to make it impossible for them to figure your password. Start thinking of a sentence or passphrase. Remember, every character counts!
Be Mindful of the Computer Networks You’re On
Who doesn’t love free WiFi? It is great because you can access the Internet without having to pay for it. However, the downside is that public WiFi connections transmit all your data in plain text. This means that other users on the same network can read the information if they want to. If you are accessing a public network that does not require you to enter a complex password, that should raise a red flag.
Another thing to note is that websites that use HTTPS do not mean that the connection you have with them is 100 percent secure. If the HTTPS encryption method is dated, hackers can break into it. If you love hanging out at coffee shops, and want to surf the Internet, you should connect through a private proxy service first. This will give you an additional level of security.
Regular Scans and Updates
You need to perform general housekeeping on your personal computer or work computer. It is pertinent that you keep all the software on your computer up to date. Next, fix bugs so that hackers cannot exploit these vulnerabilities. It is a good idea to run an antivirus software to detect malware and spontaneous intrusions.