How to Protect Yourself From Hackers
As the benefits of technology increase, so do the dangers. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect yourself.
Follow-Up After Attacks
If a service you use is hacked, the first thing you should so is change your password. If you use the same username and password across multiple accounts, change them all as well. Then, check the account to see if anything looks amiss. If it does, contact the service department to see how they can help. Check your financial statements and credit report carefully to ensure your private information hasn’t been used to break into other accounts.
Use Good Password Hygiene
When creating new passwords, use a different one for each service. Be especially careful not to use the same passwords for bank accounts, email, and e-commerce accounts. Change your passwords at least once per year.
Freeze Your Credit
If you’re the victim of more than one breach, you might want to freeze your credit, which involves disallowing anyone from viewing your credit reports, making it more difficult for anyone to open an account in your name. To learn more, visit the Federal Trade Commission section on the topic at consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.
Log- In the Right Way
More companies are using a two-factor authentication, which requires you to use a secondary password if you log in from an unrecognized device. If you have the option to use two-factor authentication on a service, do so. In addition, always check for the padlock icon next to the URL to ensure the services you use are secure.
Protect Your Computer Network
Set your computer to update your operating system automatically, which prevents hackers from taking advantage of vulnerabilities in outdated programs. Likewise, make sure your anti-virus and anti-malware programs are always up to date. When setting up Wi-Fi in your home, be sure to protect it an encrypted password and update your hardware every few years.
Don’t Forget About Your Phone
Remember that your phone is a computer too, and hackers can get a lot of personal information from it. Phones are easily lost or stolen, so if yours has a way to be locked, use it!