Online Security Issues: Cracking Down on Hackers - Staying Safe Online
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Anyone concerned with hackers or phishing scams should at the very least invest in routers, firewalls, anti-virus software, and external hard drives, all of which work to keep your computer save and your personal information hidden.
Though these types of programs and hardware do a majority of the work, it’s important to remember that simply installing them isn’t enough. Running them on your computer often, setting up any anti-virus software to download updates automatically, and programming your external hard drive to automatically back up your data regularly should drastically reduce your chances of having your computer harmed or your personal information stolen by hackers.
Another useful tip pertains to installing unfamiliar plugins or programs. You can do this, but it’s best if you research them first in order to find out if they have any known security holes. It also pays to be on the lookout for any unusual activity on any of your accounts. For example, if you’re having trouble logging into an account and you’re positive that you’re using the correct username and password, someone may have been tampering with your account -- in which case, you should immediately alert the ISP and inform them of your problem.
Whenever you’re running what is characterized as “membership software,” it’s important to avoid what is commonly referred to as a brute force attack, which is when a hacker employs various strategies to break a software’s encryption data. You can avoid this by simply setting an incorrect login attempts limit. Many banks use this kind of strategy; if a user attempts to log in to do some online banking and they fail to type in the correct username/password, their account will be frozen until they call the bank and provide the personal information necessary to verify their identity. If you use membership software, you can set the limit at three -- for example -- and if a hacker fails to log in after these three attempts, they will be locked out of the system, and the software will prevent them from attempting to log in in the future.
Lastly, it’s a good idea not to duplicate your passwords for multiple sites. Making sure you have a unique password for every website that requires logging in will greatly assist in warding off the attempts of hackers. Even better, make sure all of your passwords include both numbers and letters in both upper case and lower case, and if at all possible, change your passwords regularly.
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