5 Ways to Keep Hackers at bay

Keep hackers at bay

Whilst there are lots of definitions, there are ways to keep Hackers at bay.  The term “hackers” is largely associated with illegal activities that seek to compromise digital devices or networks for the purpose of malicious or financial gain.  Cyber criminals have become increasingly sophisticated in their tactics and it’s often difficult to differentiate between a genuine contact and a cyber crime in the making.

We’ve written about phishing before in our blog, and how to spot an email scam, but there are lots of other ways that hackers can target your information using social media.  We’ve all seen those quizzes online, like the one below, which seem like a bit of light hearted fun at the time.

And some of them are ……  However, others are simply a guise to get you to reveal personal information online, which hackers can then use to hack into your social media accounts, networks, devices, financial records and emails.  Or they can use them to launch viruses, worms or trojans onto your equipment, or to hijack your browser.

However, not all hackers are bad guys.  “Ethical hackers”, use their knowledge to help companies and organisations to reveal vital flaws in their systems, with a view to improving their vulnerabilities.  

We think there are five easy ways that you can protect yourself from hackers (the bad ones), and by far one of the most effective is using a password manager.  These free tools, such as Lastpass, which is still perhaps the best out there. It will remember your usernames and suggest very secure random passwords which you don’t have to remember, because it does all the hard work. The one and most important detail is that you have to have a master password to get into LastPass itself and this has to be as secure as you can make it – don’t ever forget this as there is NO recovery possible – LastPass don’t even know your master password!

So in summary, our five easy ways to protect yourself from hackers are:

  1. Use a free password manager tool such as LastPass
  2. Change your passwords regularly and don’t use the same one for all of your accounts
  3. Know how to spot an email phishing scam – you can read our blog article on this topic here https://kehorne.co.uk/how-to-spot-an-email-scam/
  4. Don’t give personal information away on social media, even if it looks innocent in it’s guise
  5. Be careful when posting photographs on social media that you don’t inadvertently give away personal information in your pictures eg. a car registration number, a house door number or an account or reference number on lying around paperwork that can be enlarged or copied. Remember if you are on holiday try and post pictures when you get home so you are not advertising your empty house.

Suggestions on making secure passwords – try this idea!  Think of 3 words that are not connected – for instance:

  1. Favorite holiday city – MiltonKeynes
  2. Your fathers first car – Skoda
  3. Where you broke your leg – Falklands 
  4. The year you lost a tooth – 1975

Now the password is MiltonKeynesSkodaFalklands£1975 with a special character thrown in for good measure. Who could ever crack that…..