Hackers can be a pretty intimidating set of people, whether they work as a political outfit or as a criminal syndicate, they have the know how to access data that is most precious to you. If hackers have a particular interest in a company, they can find all the information that they need on it, by doing a simply search online. They can then take that information and use it to identify weaknesses in the company that they can exploit, which in turn puts all the data the company holds at risk.
So you should think of your computer as a company. What are the kinds of things that you can do to keep it safe from hackers? Instead of doing nothing, waiting for the inevitable to happen, why not arm your computer and fight back?
Below are 6 steps you should take when safeguarding your computer from hackers:
1. Install a Firewall
The firewall works much like a security guard in a company. There are two different types of firewalls: Software and hardware firewalls. Each type is designed to serve a particular function. A firewall is one of the first steps you should take when securing your computer. Its job is to create a barrier between unauthorised programs and your computer. If you use your computer at home to access the internet, your firewall shouldbe on and ready, as it will be the first thing to alert you when your system has been infiltrated.
2. Use Strong Passwords
If you use simple passwords, then the adoption of the best encryption services won’t be able to protect your data. Using a strong password is very important; failing to use one can leave your personal data vulnerable.
There are tools that you can use to help you create really strong passwords. So you may want to look into them, as you want passwords that hackers cannot crack. Additionally, you should never forget to change your passwords from time to time.
3. Install Anti-Spyware Software
Spyware is basically small programs designed to collect your personal information without your personal approval. This information is then sent to another website. Spyware programs are designed so that you cannot detect or remove them. Anti-Spyware software on the other hand, is designed to detect and remove them. Similar in many respects to antivirus software, anti-spyware software offers 24/7 protection, as it scans all outgoing and incoming data, blocking anything perceived as a threat.
4. Don’t Use an Open WiFi Network
Open networks are easy for hackers to get into and steal information from all and any systems connected to it. Thus, you want to protect your network by using an encrypted password, and keeping all your equipment up-to-date. There are some routers that have vulnerabilities that never get patched. The latest routers allow the end users to provide restricted access to the network, and they also make password change much easier.
5. Install Antivirus Software
Another means of protecting your computer involves the installation of antivirus software. Antivirus software is designed to protect your system from malicious programs which pose a threat to it. Malicious programs involve Trojans, key loggers, viruses and more. These malicious programs will usually take a toll on your systems overall performance, deleting sensitive information while accessing confidential data. Even if there are no viruses present on your computer, you’ll still do good by installing such software, as it will help protect the computer from future attacks.
Real time protection is an important component of antivirus software, as it allows the software to detect threats on the fly. Some antivirus tools even have automated update features, which ensures virus definitions are always up-to-date.
There are many third-party antivirus tools out there, many of which include email protection, identity protection and pop-up blocking.
6. Keep Privacy Settings On
Ensuring that the wrong people are unable to access or monitor the data on your computer is very important. Many people fail to consider the privacy aspect of their social media accounts, while they are sharing personal details about their families or themselves. Hackers are keen to this, and will look to exploit such data, and can use it for a number of different things.
Most of the biggest social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram allow the end user to tweak their privacy settings with very little difficulty. You should definitely take advantage of these features to ensure that your online presence is forever secure.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website where you writes extensively on phishing scams and other computer related issues and topics.