With the advancement of technology, the threat of cyber attacks and hacking increases, posing risks to users and businesses. In the wake of this, knowing how to stay safe online and protect your devices from potential attacks is vital.
Remember that hacking takes different forms — it can be as simple as email phishing or network penetration. With that in mind, here are the things you need to do to protect your computer from hackers.
1. Use a Firewall
A firewall is a network security device that monitors and filters traffic based on your defined rules. It’s designed to prevent unauthorized access by malicious users, software, and applications, providing a protective barrier.
Firewalls are usually installed on a network with an authorized user, although Windows and macOS have inbuilt firewalls. Ensure your firewall is always enabled before you go online, and adjust the settings to suit your use.
2. Install Antivirus Software
Antivirus software can block unwanted websites and apps containing malware or viruses. The antivirus program will automatically remove any malware that might be found on your computer.
This program will also detect suspicious activity on the system and alert you of potential threats to your computer. Antivirus programs are available in different sizes and types, and some examples include McAfee, Bitdefender, Avast, Avira, Norton, and Kaspersky.
3. Use Complex Passwords
Passwords are often used to secure your computer’s network and prevent unauthorized access to your computer. Ensure your passwords are unique and unpredictable. For example, avoid using your birth date, pet name, or parent’s name as passwords.
Avoid copying or reusing passwords — this is an easy crack for hackers. If you have too many accounts, use a password manager to help you keep track of your passwords and other important information.
4. Ignore Spam
Spam is a malicious email sent by people trying to steal your data. It can be a person or company name, address, phone number, or email address. They are often disguised as legitimate e-mails from services or banks you know, such as PayPal, Amazon, or Walmart.
When you’re online, try to block all incoming messages that come through your browser. Do not enable browser notifications just from any website. Remember, spam can be quite elusive, and even tech pros have fallen victim to such attacks — so you need to be quite careful.
5. Use Encryption
Encryption is a method of encrypting computer messages to prevent unauthorized access. It means that only authorized users can read or view messages.
Encryption protects your computer from being hacked as a result of viruses and other malicious software. Encryption also prevents the transmission of sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and personal details.
In addition, using strong encryption when accessing your computer is crucial. If you are using a hard drive, ensure it has been encrypted to prevent unauthorized access to your computer’s data.
Your Data Is Important
There are many ways to protect your computer, just like there are many ways for hackers to get into your computer. Generally, use strong passwords, avoid connecting networks you don’t know, and avoid random devices like USB drives.
More importantly, be sure to install antivirus software and enable your firewall. Ignoring such basic settings can lead to hacking and loss of data. Hackers can sell your data or use it to blackmail you.