When you hear recent news about corporate cyber-security failures and large-scale hacks, etc. keeping yourself safe online is not that easy. However, there are several easy tips to avoid getting hacked.
1. HTTPS Everywhere
The HTTPS Everywhere is a browser extension add-on for Chrome, Firefox and Opera that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. You can check whether a site offers encryption by looking at the address in your browser and seeing whether it begins with “https”, as opposed to “http” or “www” (the “s” stands for “secure”).
The extension can be downloaded for free from the Electronic Frontier Foundation website.
2. When it comes to software security updates, always update them
When it comes to the discovery of security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit, the companies send out security patches to solve the problem that appear in the form of pop-ups or download prompts.
It is annoying when this form of pop-up interrupts your work to download new important updates and restart your computer. But when the alternative could be getting hacked, it is a small price to pay.
3. Two-factor authentication
Facebook, Twitter and Google’s Gmail, etc. offer a feature called two-factor authentication, which works with your smartphone to add an extra layer of security when you are logging in.
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When you entered your password, you are prompted to enter a numeric code that is sent to your smartphone or tablet via SMS message or generated by a mobile app. That way if someone steals your password, they will not be able to access your account unless they also have your smartphone or tablet as well.
4. Tape over your webcam
Highly-trained hackers can activate your webcam remotely even if it is not in use. It gives them a virtual peephole into your office or home. Good thing is, there is a low-tech fix for this, just put a piece of electrical tape or your company logo sticker over the camera when it is not in use. The Electronic Frontier Foundation also sells these awesome webcam stickers if you want to protect yourself from any unwanted surveillance.
5. Put away your smartphone or tablet
Just like they can access video from your webcam, hackers can eavesdrop your private conversation by remotely activating the internal microphone in your smartphone or tablet. Again, there is a low-tech fix — keep your mobile device stored out of earshot in a separate room when you know you will not be using it.
6. Do NOT Use a Predictable Password
The top 25 most used passwords, see below. Do NOT use any of them or something like that could be easily guessed.