Combating hackers and Staying Safe Online: Some Useful Tips
Cybercrime is a reality that everyone has to reckon with in today’s context. Every single one of us is vulnerable to cyber attacks. 2016 saw even big names like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales etc being targetted by hackers. Hacks and data breaches seemed to be occurring on a never-before scale and personal data of millions of customers worldwide got stolen. Many big companies too were hit along with smaller ones and individual customers as well. Thus, in the modern world, where we always tend to go digital for convenience’s sake and to save time and where the internet has become an integral part of our lives, we’ve got to live with cyber crimes. There are certain things that can be done by internet users to beat the hackers to a great degree and thus stay safe online. Here’s look at the steps that can be adopted-:
Look for the green padlock/HTTPS
In the present scenario, it won’t be wise to do transactions over websites that are not SSL/TLS secured. SSL encryption ensures the security of all data transmitted over a website and hence it would always be good to look for the little green padlock or the HTTPS. Yes, go for SSL/TLS-protected websites only, not just for cash transactions, purchases etc, but for all other online communications as well.
Go for better password management
Always go for passwords that are difficult to crack. Make it strong and complicated by mixing small and capital letters with numbers and non-alphanumeric characters. Moreover, do remember to change passwords regularly.
Use firewall, antivirus, and other security software
Using a firewall, a trusted antivirus program with good features and all necessary security software would protect a system or device against all hacks and data breaches to a great extent. While firewalls help in controlling incoming and outgoing traffic and in preventing unauthorized access, security software, include antivirus, keep systems safe from malware and other intrusions.
Better use nicknames on social media
It is always better to use nicknames on social media rather than using the full name. Using a nickname would make it difficult for hackers to find other accounts associated with the user and thus even if hacking happens, it can be limited to one account only.
Opt for two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is really good and it should be opted for, wherever possible. This provides an additional layer of security to user accounts.
Better avoid free public Wi-Fi if possible
It’s always better to avoid free public Wi-Fi if possible. It’s tempting to go for free public Wi-Fi as it provides additional data, but such Wi-Fi connections, which usually aren’t password protected, could help hackers gain access to a system or device. It’s also advisable to keep Wi-Fi turned off when not using it, to block automatic connections.
Avoid autofill on browser
Autofill on browsers, which helps save sign-in data, card data etc, could help hackers steal data and would also help others get data if a system or device gets lost or stolen.
Opt for login notifications
Login notifications, which alerts a user when someone else tries to log into the user’s account is a very useful thing when it comes to preventing hacks. activate these alerts in the security settings of most banking or social media sites.
Be cautious of phishing emails and links, increase automatic junk filtering
Phishing emails and links provide hackers easy access to accounts and systems. So it’s better not to open emails coming from untrusted sources and also not click on suspicious links. It’s always good to increase automatic junk filtering, which will help avoid spammy emails.