Staying Safe from the Prying Eyes of Online Hackers

Many people see hackers as evil geniuses, working covertly with their brilliant master plan.

But did you know that a lot of the information hackers can use to peek at your private data may come from you?

If you're not careful, you might be placing your info at risk every day without realizing it. Here are a few safe practices that will help to shield you from online hackers.

Avoid Using Open Wi-Fi

Connecting to open Wi-Fi hotspots can make it simple for hackers to obtain access to your system and look at your private files, or watch what you're doing online.

Only use Wi-Fi hotspots secured with a password.

The same rule applies to your home Wi-Fi network as well. Also, some older routers have weaknesses that aren't always updated or patched, so it's a good idea to upgrade the router for your home network with a new one every year or two.

Use Multiple Passwords

Another security mistake that a lot of people make is using the same password for different accounts, and using the same password or unlock pattern on various devices.

That isn't a great strategy. If a hacker figures out one password, he or she has hit the gold mine.

It's always best to use a unique password for each account, and device. If you think that using so many different passwords will be difficult, try using a password manager app.

If you use an unlock pattern for a device, make it something that's hard to guess.

Many sites also offer the option of two-step authentication for your accounts. Setting this up will give you an extra layer of protection.

Be Phishing Smart

Hackers are playing their game smarter. When you go online, bear in mind that many phishing scams can at first glance seem legit. Take smart measures to spot them.

Before you respond to an email message or open an attachment, always read the sender info first to make sure it matches a legitimate address.

Even if the address seems fine, focus on grammar.

Does it look and sound like it's really from your friend, or from a familiar business?

Remember too, that a real business will never ask you to click on an insecure link to enter private info without a password, or ask you to send private account details via email. 

Install Anti-Virus on All Devices

Most likely you have anti-virus installed on your computer, but what about your phone or tablet?

A virus can be inserted into a website's code and used by a hacker as a gateway to enter your system on any device, so having an anti-virus program installed on all of your devices can help protect you from being hacked.

There are lots of anti-virus and anti-malware programs that also come with a firewall as an added safety measure to keep intruders out. Yes, the thought of being hacked is scary, but it doesn't have to happen to you. The tips above