Friday, October 4, 2013

5 simple ways you can protect yourself from hackers

1. Use Two-step verification

Most of us use free email providers like Yahoo and Gmail. These email services have the option to enable  2-step verification.  All you need is a mobile phone number. Whenever you login to your Gmail account from  any new or unknown computer, Gmail will send a verification code to your mobile via SMS. Once you enter this code in the website, you are granted access. The advantage here is that even if by any chance someone manages to get hold of your password, they still  won't be able to access your account. Here is an article on Two-step verification.

2. Encrypt your files using TrueCrypt  TrueCrypt is no longer secure

When hackers get into your computer, depending on the purpose of the hack, they will look for your photos, important documents, credit card details, usernames and passwords etc. This is dangerous, especially because many people have the tendency to store credit card or net banking details in plain text for ease access. In order to prevent this, you can use a free encryption tool known as TrueCrypt.  TrueCrypt is one of the most powerful encryption tools and is thought to be unbreakable. Here is an article on how to set up TrueCrypt

3. Use a password manager such as KeePass

Nowadays, we have many online accounts in different websites and it is advisable to use a different password for each of those accounts to stay secure. Now, how does one remember all these passwords? It may be manageable to some extent if you have a sharp memory, but if you are like me, you will need a password manager to help you remember your passwords. KeePass is an excellent software that does just that. It uses a Master password that will secure your other passwords inside the database. You can then store this (tiny) database file in the cloud and access it from anywhere using Dropbox. The plus side is that you just have to remember one (preferably long) password.

4. Use VPN when accessing internet from public networks

As illustrated in my previous article on man in the middle attack, we know it is extremely easy for a hacker to sniff your username and password over the LAN or wifi. This is especially true if you are accessing the internet from a public wifi network such as airports or coffee shops. This is because normal web traffic is unencrypted. So, how do we protect ourselves from this? We use a VPN connection to encrypt the internet traffic. For this, you may want to use free VPN providers. Here is an article on how to set up VPN on Windows 7.

5. Install antivirus and firewall

This is the most basic and fundamental guideline for computer safety. Even in today's world of viruses and other malware, many people continue to ignore the antivirus. An antivirus protects your computer from all kinds of malware. It is not just enough to install an antivirus, it has to be updated regularly. For a hacker, it is extremely easy to hack into computer which has no antivirus installed. Avast is an excellent free antivirus. A personal firewall is also an added safety. ZoneAlarm is a good free firewall.

1 comment:

  1. Great information, protecting our mobile phone and laptops from hackers is very essential, thanks for post.

    How to Protect Tablets and Mobile Phones from Hackers