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Internet and Businesses Online

7 Tips on How to Prevent Getting Hacked Online

Billions of dollars are spent every year on internet security. That cash flows in from both standard consumers and businesses.

Why the interest in security? Because now more than ever, you’re at risk of getting hacked online and those hacks can cost you your livelihood.

Do you want a stranger to be able to read your emails? Would you be okay if your browsing history was leaked online? How would your company react if a stranger gained access to your business files?

This is where knowing how to prevent getting hacked comes in handy.

To start surfing the web more intelligently and to avoid any one of the negative scenarios we’ve laid out, keep reading. Below, our team breaks down techniques you can leverage to save yourself serious headaches.

1. Beware of Remote Access Support

A common scam we’ve seen going around, particularly during tax season, is fake support agents getting in touch with you and finding ways to gain remote access to your computer. These support agents claim a variety of things including that they work for the IRS.

Once you buy their story and give them remote access to control your machine and view your files, they can install malware, offer themselves dangerous administrative permissions, and more.

To avoid this, always avoid getting in touch with businesses that seek you out to offer assistance and never offer remote access to your machine to anyone you don’t fully trust.

2. Get Email Savvy

A lot of people that end up getting hacked start falling into traps bad actors set in their inboxes. These traps might aim to hack you socially (think the old “Nigerian Prince” scam). Other traps might look for you to email your password to a misleading address, which would result in an email password breach.

Given how dangerous email can be, start getting savvy on best practices when managing it.

Don’t engage with messages from unknown senders. Understand that many false claims are made via email and that no company will ask for things like credit card numbers, passwords, or any similar private data via the medium.

When in doubt, just delete the email. If the communication is important, the sender will get in touch with you via phone.

3. Don’t Download Anything You Don’t 100% Trust

One of the chief ways people get hacked is via viruses that get installed onto their machines. The good news is that viruses can only land on your machine if you download them. The bad news is that people download viruses all the time.

To avoid downloading viruses, stop installing applications or programs from weird sources.

Just like with email, many times, odd sources that ask you to download things misrepresent what you’re downloading which can lead to serious problems if you follow through with their directions.

Be skeptical and stay safe.

4. Protect Your Passwords

Here’s a basic how-to prevent getting hacked tip: Don’t share your password!

Your password should be something only you and perhaps a single other trusted person has in case of an emergency or shared account. Beyond that, if anybody else were to catch wind of your password, you have a security obligation to get it changed.

Mind you, even if you don’t think somebody has intercepted your password, it’s good practice to change it regularly. Our team recommends every 3 months.

5. Use a VPN

VPNs are Virtual Private Networks that route your web traffic through secondary sources. What that does is that it disallows onlookers from knowing which websites you’re asking and many times, also encrypts your data which makes intercepting it worthless.

VPNs do cost money but the charges are nominal and the security is well worth it.

Just about every company uses a VPN if they’re allowing their teams to work remotely as doing so makes good business sense and may very well be required by local consumer protection laws.

6. Run Regular Virus Scans

When was the last time you ran a virus scan on your machine? If you’re like most people, it has probably been a while.

Viruses don’t always make themselves known by slowing down your computer or hitting your machine with annoying popups. Some run quietly in the background, stealing your data.

The best way to find these silent killers is to work with a quality anti-virus to scan your machine every week. Your anti-virus should be able to dig up any leeches that are hurting your hardware’s security and knock them out.

7. Back Your Computer Up

Backing your computer up isn’t necessarily a how to prevent getting hacked strategy. What it is is a way to recover post hack.

The moment your machine is hacked, if you have your data backed up, you can wipe your machine and restore it. That will allow you to get back up and running and will disallow hackers from being able to hold your data ransom.

You Now Know How to Prevent Getting Hacked

Knowing how to prevent getting hacked is a skill that is constantly validating itself since hackers are getting more aggressive than ever with consumers and business owners. We hope you’ll lean on the techniques we’ve shared to start better protecting your online data.

Remember, your livelihood, financial and otherwise, could depend on it.

Curious to learn more about what to do if you get hacked online? Want to take in more general online safety tips? If so, explore additional content on our blog!

Read Also: 7 Reasons Why You Need to Invest in a Warehouse Management System

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