Earlier this month, it was released that hackers were able to access personal data of over 143 million Equifax customers.
While details aren’t yet being shared and it hasn’t been made clear exactly how this occurred, the company shared in a press release that it is related to a flaw in a tool designed to build web ap-plications.
Some of the information hackers had access to included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and some driver’s license numbers.
In a time when internet is king and technology runs everything, being aware of cybersecurity is not only incredibly important, but absolutely necessary.
Although often, security breaches on a larger scale like with Equifax, are mostly out of the con-sumer’s control there are simple things you should be doing to help protect your personal com-puter from hacks and cyber attacks.
Here are 10 easy cybersecurity tips:
1. Invest in Legitimate Software.
There are plenty of discount software programs available online but it is absolutely worth invest-ing in a pricier, more secure, and legitimate program. Bootleg versions are much riskier and the right software is worth it.
2. Keep This Software Up-To-Date
I know those pesky pop-ups from your virus protection usually seem like a bother and it’s easy to default to selecting “Not Now” or “Remind Me Later”, but it’s imperative that you keep your im-portant software software up-to-date.
3. Be Aware of the Sites You’re Visiting
Be aware which websites you’re clicking into and opening up, many dangerous sites are de-signed to look like they mean well. Pop-up blockers are there for a reason.
4. Carefully Check Who Sent the Email
Hackers are very smart. You may get an email from someone where one letter is missing from the email address. It could look like it’s from your bank, saying you need to update your infor-mation but instead of your bank’s secure site, it could be a phisher. Carefully check the email address and credentials.
5. Don’t Click on Questionable Links or Open Attachments
While it’s easy to say not to open the link or download attachments from an unknown sender, tread lightly and be careful with any attachment that seems unusual. If you get an email from your friend that doesn’t seem like it’s written by them, don’t open the attachment, and notify the sender.. They may be hacked, and if you fall for it you may be next!
6. Avoid Re-Directs Out of Websites You Know
There’s a lot of re-directs and re-routes all over the internet, it’s incredibly hard to miss. Try to stay on safe sites and if you do happen to get re-routed, just click out.
7. Strengthen Your Passwords
It’s about time to give up your “Password1”. A report says 17% of people use some form of “123456” as a password. The easier your password is to guess, the easier it is for a hacker. Es-pecially if you use the same password for every site.
8. Back Up Your Important Files
Use an external hard-drive or storage service, just in case. Keep these files up to date. This is a good idea to safe-hold your important items but even regardless of security issues, it’s a life-saver if your computer ever decided to crash.
9. Install a Camera Cover
This one is for the more paranoid users, but its possible! Hackers are actually able to hack into your computer’s webcam and record you. Cut a small piece of Post-It note and cover your webcam for some piece of mind.
10. Think Before You Give Up Your Information
Most importantly, think about where you give your information. Especially in online shopping or signing up for a service. Think before you share.
photos from Pixabay