by Areyo Dadar, community manager for noidentitytheft.com
Technologies such as the Internet have made it possible for every individual to enjoy a better quality of life in more ways than one. However, it has also brought with it the very real possibility of falling victim to cyber criminals and hackers. Being the victim of such a crime can result in:
- Identity theft.
- Loss of business secrets of various kinds.
- Misuse of personal data.
- Decreased credit scores.
- Financial losses as well.
It is therefore important to know how to protect yourself from hackers and cyber criminals. Here are a few things that you can keep in mind:
1. Keep software updated.
It is extremely important to keep the software – across all systems – updated and robust. This will include:
- Operating systems.
- Firewall of various kinds.
- Server side software.
- Encryption of your networks.
- Restriction of administrative rights.
- Installation of Internet filters to prevent employees from accessing potentially dangerous sites and so on.
2. Hiring a professional.
There are quite a few products and service providers out there who specialize in protecting systems from hackers and cyber criminals, IdentityForce is one service which prevents online theft and protects your system from these thieves. It is a very good idea to invest in such a product or professional. Such a professional will be able to assess the threats and the risk factors associated with your online presence.
They can then guide your data loss prevention and network resilience so that you do not fall prey to cyber criminals. Monitoring your social networks is also a very vital aspect to prevent such cyber crime.
3. Protect your personal information at all times.
Your personal information can consist of passwords, PINs and so on that you use for accessing your computer or using your debit and credit cards. You should keep such information protected at all times. It is an exceptionally good idea for you to change your passwords periodically and make them completely random.
For instance, choosing your birthday or even your own name as a password is not a good idea at all. Simply put, create a password that cannot be easily associated with you or even guessed at random. It is also advisable for you not to create a common password for all your online activities. Make each password unique and different.
4. Be careful of malware.
Viruses, worms and Trojans can attack your computer or mobile device in more ways than one. Therefore, pay close attention to the messages that are coming into your e-mail or mobile device and try not to open an attachment even if it promises you something fabulous.
Fraudulent websites can also be one of the ways in which cyber criminals steal your personal information and therefore it is a very good idea for you not to access such sites. Lots of us love public and free Wi-Fi but you should be aware that accessing such services can also leave you vulnerable to hackers.
Whether it is online shopping or browsing the Internet, try and do it only on secure sites and through secure networks. Phishing scams work only when an individual is not aware of such security vulnerabilities.
Areyo Dadar is the community manager for noidentitytheft.com. As a victim of identity theft, he wants to help others avoid what he went through. Areyo received his BA from San Diego State University and spent 3 years managing US Bank in La Jolla, CA.