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Hackers have the knowledge and the power to gain access to your most precious data and it can be scary to know how quickly your computer can be hacked. Even though there are numerous ways in which you can be exploited, there are also multiple effective methods to protect yourself and your computer against cyber threats.
In this guide, we’re going to give you some practical tips that will help you use your computer without getting hacked. Let’s begin!
1. Create Complex Passwords
Using secure passwords is one of the most important ways to avoid network intrusions. The more complex and longer the passwords, the tougher it is for a hacker to hack your system.
When you use a password with a minimum of eight characters, uppercase & lowercase letters, and a combination of computer symbols & numbers, it’ll be difficult to be cracked by hackers. That’s because they have tools to only break short and easy passwords.
So, you must not use recognizable combinations that denote your birthday or any other information related to you. You shouldn’t reuse the passwords either. If you can’t remember a lot of passwords, you can also use a password manager.
2. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication works as a second layer of protection against computer hackers. This method requires you to type in a numerical code alongside a password which is often sent to your phone.
Since the code is generated on your phone, you can prove to the sites that it’s really you trying to log in. So, even if your password is easy to guess, the hacker won’t be able to get access to your account unless they have your phone.
Therefore, you must ensure that you enable two-factor authentications for all the accounts that you use on your computer and that hold your personal information such as your email account, Facebook, and Twitter.
3. Update Your System Regularly
Since your operating system manages the entire functionality of your computer, it becomes a vulnerable target for hackers. Besides, every software and application is also prone to attack and companies are always looking for new bugs to fix them.
That’s why you must download and update the latest version of your operating system. If you don’t update it regularly, you could compromise your key accounts and it can cost you your identity, private information, and even money.
In addition to this, make sure that you also review the security settings of your browser so that the websites don’t track your movements. You can use one of the private web browsers too which increases your online privacy even more.
4. Use Encryption
The practice of encryption can refer to securing your information and communication techniques. It prevents hackers from using any of your private information even if they gain access to your files and networks.
You can use different encryption software to encrypt your Windows or macOS hard drive. Other than that, you can also encrypt your USB flash drive that contains your sensitive information and also use a VPN to encrypt the web traffic.
Also, make sure that you shop only at encrypted websites. To spot an encrypted website, check whether it uses ‘https’ in the address rather than the ‘http’. The ‘s’ in the https stands for secure indicating that the website uses a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate.
5. Ignore Spam Messages
Even though the inbox spam filters have become pretty good at catching spam messages, you should also be aware of them and never click on the links or attachments that they contain.
Apart from the spam messages from unknown parties, there are also more sophisticated phishing emails that mimic your associates, banks, and friends. So, make sure that you look out for anything that looks suspicious.
6. Use a Firewall
A firewall protects your computer and data by managing your network traffic. It stops the hackers from accessing your computer by blocking unsolicited incoming network trafficand also alerts you in case there is an intrusion attempt.
So, make sure that the firewall is enabled on your device before you go online. You can also purchase a hardware firewall depending upon your broadband router.