Most people imagine hacking as some guy behind a computer typing really fast with numbers flowing down the screen. In reality, this is not the case. It is very easy to avoid having your email, Facebook, or other online profiles from being compromised.
Most hacking involves Social Engineering. Google describes this type of hacking as “the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.” Most people will encounter these types of hackers in the form of spam email; however, sometimes it is those closest to you that manages to crack the code. With that being said, here are 5 tips on how to keep your online presence secured:
1. Do not use information that anyone can find when setting security questions.
That means if it asks you what your first pets name is, what your mothers maiden name is, or what city you grew up in. For a lot of people, this kind of information is available publicly on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Always use answers that are easy to remember but not easy to research or guess.
2. Do not open up emails from people you don’t know.
If you are tempted to open up an email that looks legitimate, do not follow any links inside the email. If, lets say, paypal emails you and says you need to reset your password, do not click on the link they provide. Go to your search bar and type the address in yourself to see if your password really does need to be changed. This brings me to my next point:
3. Do not click on links that you do not 100% trust.
If you are forced for some reason to click on a link, check the address bar to make sure the link it legitimate. One sign to look for is the green lock beside the url. This means that it is secured and will not infect your computer(No promises about the popups and advertisements though, BEWARE!). One thing to also look for are url’s that have weird run-ons like “Facebo0k.me.net/whatever”.
4. Do not use the same password on every website you use.
Nothing in life is definite. That includes the security most websites provide you with that you take for granted. Websites get hacked all the time and if your password is compromised, they may use social engineering to try and see where else you may use that password.
5. Do not share any of your passwords(past or present ones) with anyone.
That is yours to keep confidential. If things ever go south with a person that knows a password you use or have used, they may be able to connect the dots and figure out how to get into all of your accounts.
I hope you enjoyed the article. Leave a comment if you have any questions or topics you would like me to discuss!
Written by Omar A.