With the advent of modern technology, who can even last a day without using any gadget? Aside from laptops, mobile phones and computers, smart devices are present in almost any home. These are appliances and even toys that are internet-enabled and can be controlled through apps installed in your phone. Such connectivity, however, also makes you vulnerable to attacks from hackers. Luckily for you, safety measures have been developed to keep you and your family secure.
Hackers at Work: How They Steal Your Information Online
While you surf and spend your time in the worldwide web, there are various opportunities for hackers to gain access to your information online. As convenient as it is for you to find the products and services that you’re looking for, hackers can easily find your personal information and use them for their own malicious purposes.
You might not know it, but you could already be a victim of these common yet often unnoticeable tricks:
- Phishing e-mails – These are e-mails or personal messages that trick you into sending your personal information or login data through phishing websites that look like the original and legitimate site that you’re visiting.
- Data Farming – Hackers can take control of your computer by installing a virus remotely. When filling out forms online, they can steal your information by taking you to fake websites instead of where you really want to go.
- Spyware – This is the most common way of internet identity theft. It’s easy and quick to install, yet difficult to remove from your computer. It collects personal data and can also take you to websites that you didn’t intend to visit.
- Keyloggers – This virus records the keystrokes that you make on your keyboard. Through it, your personal data, login details and any other information can be stolen.
- Social Networking – It’s easy to steal personal details through social networking sites. Some people post too much information about themselves, making them more vulnerable to identity theft.
Tips to Protect Yourself Online
The key to keeping yourself safe online is to be vigilant. Learn more about the ways through which cyber criminals hack into your computer or mobile device to steal your information, and then protect yourself accordingly. Do the following:
- Report an online scam – If you were a victim of an online scam, or if you even suspect that you’re being scammed, go to the authorities right away. Report it to the local police and the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
- Protect your personal information – Be wary of sites asking you to fill out forms with your personal information. Criminals make their websites convincing enough to resemble legitimate sites. Don’t comply with online requests for personal information right away. Check first to see if the source is legitimate, and ask if you can give alternative information as your identifier.
- Don’t overshare – Most people reveal too much about themselves online, more specifically in social networking sites. Through the profiles and posts, hackers can steal information.
- Install antivirus software – Choose a strong antivirus software program to protect your computer from viruses, malware, and other malicious stuff. Be sure to keep it up-to-date.
- Use unique passwords – Create passwords that are hard to guess, and avoid using personal information, such as your maiden name, as your password.
- Beware of fake offers – If you’re awarded something, but asked for personal information or prior payment before receiving your prize, then it’s a scam. Try asking questions first to thwart lurking scammers.
- Watch out for work-at-home scams – Make a thorough background check on companies offering work-at-home opportunities before jumping in.
- Monitor your finances – Keep track of your credit card and bank accounts. and monitor any online activity. You can ask to be notified of any alerts by phone or through e-mail. If you see anything suspicious, call your bank and ask that an investigation be initiated ASAP.
There are a lot of exciting things that you can do online these days, whether for fun, for work, or for any other purpose. But don’t let hackers keep you from taking full advantage of what the worldwide web has to offer.