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August 8, 2019

6 Expert Tips to Avoid Getting Hacked in the Year 2019

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The internet is frequently abuzz with news of large-scale hacks. Massive corporations are breached, data is stolen, personal devices are attacked in droves. According to a study done by the University of Maryland, a hack takes place every 39 seconds and will affect one in three Americans in their lifetime. Thankfully, there are ways for you to avoid being that one. To follow these 6 expert tips to avoid getting hacked, remember the acronym UPDATE:

  • Update regularly
  • Passwords shouldn’t be reused
  • Download from trusted sources
  • Administrator shouldn’t be your default
  • Turn off internet-connected devices
  • Encrypt your data

U – Update Regularly

Every software you use will regularly require updates to ensure it continues to function appropriately. Updates also serve another vital function: they keep all the apps you use safe against potential hacks. Hackers are innovative and design new ways to attack systems every day, so companies need to constantly update their security to keep up. By delaying updates, you put your devices at risk.

P – Passwords Shouldn’t Be Reused

Passwords safeguard our online accounts. They’re used for social media, emails, online banking, and more. With so many to remember, many people opt to reuse the same password for every account. However, this leaves you vulnerable to attack: if hackers learn one password, they’ll use it on every possible account that can be linked to you. If you have trouble remembering every password, use a password manager to keep track for you. You can use our guide to help you pick one here.

D – 6 Expert Tips to Avoid Getting Hacked: Download From Trusted Sources

One of the most effective ways for hackers to gain access to your systems and devices is through downloads you click. They create spoofing pages or unsafe links that trick you into thinking you’re downloading software that’s safe, when in reality it’s designed to attack your devices. To combat this, do some research before downloading anything online, to make sure you’re using a trusted source.

A – Administrator Shouldn’t Be Your Default

Most computers allow you to log in as an administrator or as a personal user. Administrators have access to every system on your devices, whereas personal users have limitations to what they can do. In general, don’t use the admin account as your default account. If it becomes compromised, hackers have access to all systems in your device and can do more damage than if they had access to a restricted personal account.

T – Turn Off Internet-Connected Devices

Hackers must use the internet in order to, well, hack. Step 5 of the 6 expert tips to avoid getting hacked is to turn off devices after you’re done using them (or disconnect them from the internet). By doing this, you stop a hacker from accessing your data before they can even try. This step includes logging out of accounts when you’re done with them, and even disconnecting your wifi when you’re not at home.

E – Encrypt Your Data

When you send files online, make sure they’re encrypted first. Even if someone is able to intercept the file, they can’t read its contents. Always use encrypted websites as well: you’ll see their URL start with “https” instead of just “http.”

The risk of hacking is a part of having a digital life. By using these 6 expert tips to avoid getting hacked, you can reduce that risk and feel safe online.

To protect yourself further, use a VPN when browsing the web to encrypt your activity and anonymize your browsing.

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