In today’s world, internet hackers are smarter and savvier than ever before. You may not realize the dangers they can impose until your private email or online accounts are compromised. The good news is, there are things you can do to prevent these types of intrusions from occurring.
Here are 3 easy steps you can implement today to protect your security online.
Select a strong password
The first line of defense against a hacker is setting up a strong password for each of your online accounts.
Although it may be convenient to use a familiar word or numerical sequence that you can easily remember, such as an address, zip code, favorite car, or pet’s name, it’s far more effective to create a password that no one can crack. If you use a common password, it’s possible that a hacker could access your account, click on the “Forgot password” link and use information about you to guess your password.
Instead, create a strong password that includes a random combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and symbols. Write your password down and keep it in a safe place so that you can easily access it. The more complex your password, the less likely a hacker will be able to gain access to your accounts.
Beware of spam
One of the tricky ways hackers can infiltrate your accounts is by using spam or phishing tactics. When this occurs, your contacts will receive an email from the hacker (posing as you) asking them to click on an untrusted link. This, in turn, allows a hacker to access your personal information.
While it can be difficult to tell if your email account was abused in this way, a quick check of your sent email will help identify anyone who was targeted from your contacts list. If you do find someone contacted by the hacker, let them know immediately that you didn’t send the email to them and to NOT click on the link.
In addition to passwords, a different type of security mechanism called two-factor authentication is becoming increasingly available. Using two-factor authentication ensures that even if someone has your password, they still need something else before they can get into your account. That can range from a fingerprint to a pin number. Two factor authentication simply allows you to protect your account with an added layer of security.
In the age of the internet, it’s unfortunate that users have to be concerned about the security of their private accounts, but taking a few extra precautions will go a long way toward maintaining peace of mind.