Hackers, whether operating in a group or as independent idealists with political, social or environmental intentions, are a ruthless crew. They might have access to your most valuable information, whether they're part of a major organization or working alone, and they have the skills and knowledge to do so. If hackers want to attack a specific company, establishment of institution, all they must do is conduct a Google search for details about it. Afterwards they may gain access to that firm's data by exploiting vulnerabilities in its security system.
Imagine your home computer as a company. So, what can you do to protect it from cybercriminals?
Here are 10 ways to Protect Your Computer from Hackers:
Use strong passwords and change them regularly. A strong password is one that is long and contains a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not use easily guessed words like your name or the name of your child or your pet. Change your passwords on a regular basis, at least every 3 months.
Make sure that your operating system and other programs are up to date, if not automatically. This keeps you safe from hackers who may exploit the soft spots of you software in order to gain access to your computer. Microsoft product updates can assist you to keep up with the Office Suite. Consider removing especially vulnerable applications like Java or Flash, especially as more websites and services do so.
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Install a good antivirus program and keep it up to date. Antivirus software can protect your computer from malware (malicious software) that hackers may try to install to gain access to your system.
Use a firewall, preferably a hardware firewall built into your router. A firewall blocks unauthorized access to your computer from the internet.
Use caution when downloading files, opening email attachments, or clicking on links, even if they appear to come from people you know. Cybercriminals often use social engineering techniques (tricking people into doing something that benefits the hacker) to lure their victims into giving away sensitive information or installing malware on their computers.
Secure your wireless network with a strong password. A hacker who gains access to your wireless network can eavesdrop on all the traffic passing through it, including your passwords, financial, personal and business information.
Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls or emails asking for personal information. Cybercriminals often try to phish for sensitive information like credit card numbers or Social Security numbers by pretending to be from a reputable company or agency. Do not respond to these kinds of requests and never give your personal information, without verifying furst the legitimacy of the caller.
Regularly back up your computer's data. This will help you recover if your computer is ever attacked by hackers, and they manage to delete or encrypt your files.
Educate yourself about online safety measures and keep up with the latest threats. There are many helpful resources available, like the website of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) at https://staysafeonline.org/.
Use a 2-factor authentication system for important accounts like your email and online banking. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring something you know, like your password, and something you have, like a code, sent to your phone or a physical token.
These are just some of the means and ways with which you can protect your computer from hackers. By following these tips, you can make it much more difficult for them to gain access to your data and steal your identity or money. Stay safe out there!