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10 Ways To Keep Your Internet Identity Safe From Hackers

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In a time where we all have some form of digital presence, hacking news no longer comes as a surprise. On BusinessBlogs, we like to remind you regularly about the need to be vigilant with your data and overall internet security.

You’ve probably heard of identity theft and data leakage – if you’re not already a victim. And as the number of hacking cases keeps rising, there’s never been a better time to adopt advanced internet security practices to protect your data. You should always be up to date with new cybersecurity information so that you can protect yourself from threats.

Here are ten ways you should try to keep your online identity safe from hackers.

1. Update your devices regularly

Installing software updates sent from the developers may be boring, but those updates are just what you need to stay safe online. The updates contain patches for any security vulnerabilities detected on your OS or apps. Otherwise, hackers will use your old-dated software vulnerabilities as backdoors to your system.

Similarly, ensure that every software you download is up-to-date. If you must change your software settings to allow automatic update installation every time.

2. Practice good password habits

While most of us think no one can never hack our passwords, studies by Ofcom show that nearly 55% of adults use one password for nearly every site they log in to online. To make it worse, more than 26% use birthdays, pet names, and other easy name combinations for their passwords.

If you want to stay safe, you must get smarter. Never use the same password for multiple accounts, even on numerous social media accounts.
Now it goes without saying that all your devices should be password protected. If you think you’ll forget your password, use a good password manager to store.

3. Use an anti-virus software

Each day, millions of new malware strings are released in the market. And while your firewall does a great job at protecting your computer, by itself, it can only do so much. That is why an antivirus is crucial.

Antiviruses scan your devices and can detect even the well-hidden viruses. However, you must get the right VPN for adequate security. A good antivirus like Bitdefender protects your computer from hacking attacks, ensuring that you remain safe every day.

Do not forget to update your anti-virus software regularly!

4. Monitor how much you share online

When looking to know more about a stranger, one of the first-places people you check is their social media accounts. By merely knowing their name, you can dig up a lot of information about them, from their age, workplace, residence address, and even some banking details.

All this is information that might cost you dearly if in the hands of a hacker. So, be cautious of what you share on social media. The less there is about you online, the more secure you will remain.

5. Be careful with the links you click

When you receive a link on your email or through text, do not be hasty to open it. First scrutinize the link to ensure that they are from a credible source. Most phishing scammers today have found a way to mimic some legitimate websites.

It’s, therefore, a bit harder to differentiate between malicious and credible sites unless you check first before clicking. Sometimes, the difference might be small omissions or additions in the URL links, e.g., www.googe.com instead of www.google.com – see the difference?

6. Start using a VPN

If you are fond of using public wi-fi, consider getting a virtual private network (VPN) to safeguard your networks. Most public wi-fi is unsecured, which means that there might be tons of hackers listening to your data traffic.

A VPN secures your network by encrypting your data traffic with an end-to-end tunnel, ensuring that no one can spy on your data.

7. Encrypt your sensitive data

Even with the best internet security, hackers can still gain access to your device. That is when disk encryption becomes useful. By encrypting all your sensitive information on your device, hackers will not be able to compromise your data, even when they are monitoring your connections.

Most devices come with inbuilt encryption features, but you can also invest in one from your app store.

8. Shop from verified sites

When shopping online, ensure that the site is secure before submitting your credit card details. You can do this by first confirming that the site’s URL starts with ‘https’ and has the padlock icon at the address bar.

9. Use MFA or 2-Factor Authentication

Even though you have set a strong password, that’s not enough. You should set up MFA or two-factor authentication login system (a numerical pin sent to your phone). 2FA provides an additional security layer for all your accounts and devices. This way, you will not have to worry about your data eve when hackers crack your password.

10. Activate the ‘wipe my phone’ feature

Your phone carries a lot of data about you, and once it is stolen, the thief can use your information against you. So instead of risking this, activate the remote wiping feature on your phone.
This way, you’ll be able to erase your data when you lose your phone, protecting it from landing in the wrong hands.

Final thoughts

Hacking is a real threat that you always need to be prepared for. With the rising rates of cyberattacks, the best thing you can do for your security is putting these tips into practice.

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