A challenge to the hackers. Image Credit: V3

We now live in a digital age where we can access information, buy products and move money between accounts with a click of a button. Our lives have changed dramatically over the past decade as new technologies have been developed, and we rely on technology to improve every aspect of our lives: our work, our homes and our relationships. With the rise of any new technology comes new ways that we can be open to security threats.

There is no one way to wholly protect your computer and devices from hackers, but if you adopt layers of defense, you will certainly make the hackers’ lives more difficult.

Here are 3 ways that you can help protect yourself against cybercrimes.

  1. Updates

You will have experienced a security update notification popping up on your screen at some time, and while they have a knack of appearing just while you are in the middle of doing something important, the temptation is just to ignore it until you have the time to shut down and restart your device. However, this is an example of how procrastination really is the thief of time. Failing to update the security for your desktop or device leaves you open to newly found threats that have been identified, and defenses are included within the latest files you are asked to download.

  1. Passwords

Every login that you have will be accessed by a password. You may have the inclination to use the same password for all your accounts. This is not advisable, as once a hacker has exposed a password to one account, they will automatically try it with all your other accounts. Remember, we want to make life as hard as possible for the hackers. Choose different passwords for each account and use a mixture of alphanumeric characters. There are password managers that you can use to store your passwords so that you can access apps and sites without the delay of trying to remember each different password. Read the LastPass review to further understand how a password manager can help you to keep accessing sites simple.

  1. E-mail attachments

One of the most prolific ways that hackers gain access to computers is by sending e-mails with e-mail attachments that contain .exe files that enable to access your personal data. Often the e-mails are disguised as coming from a legitimate source that you may have connections with such as your bank.  The e-mails may contain the purported sender’s logos, your account information and even your name, but often there are telltale signs that all is not as it seems, these include:

  • The sender’s e-mail does not include reference to the organization they say they are from
  • Spelling mistakes
  • An uncharacteristic sense of urgency
  • A request for account information such as username or passwords

Always err on the side of caution, if you receive an e-mail that you were not expecting, or the contents seem just to good to be true, contact the organization or person that your e-mail has said has sent it. Do not use the contact details on the e-mail, but use details that you have on your paperwork or from the genuine website.

You must be proactive in keeping your data secure. Keep your security updated with the latest versions of software, keep your passwords memorable and accessible only to you, and never open e-mail attachments if you are unsure of the legitimacy of the sender.