Safety from hackers has always been an issue for many on the internet. While you’re online, hackers are always close by, ready to take advantage of any flaw in your security measures 👀 Now that many of us have to work from home, it is even more important to stay safe online. 

Estimates suggest that there is now a hacker attack every 39 seconds. In the time it will take you to finish reading this line, someone somewhere probably just fell victim to a hack 🤯 To protect yourself, it’s important to know the threats you face in the first place. Here are some of the most common ways that hackers tend to get your information:   

1. Phishing 

Phishing is definitely one of the most common ways hackers use to get your details. It’s a simple tactic, but it can have some terrible effects.

How Hackers Use Phishing

Usually, phishing happens in this sequence

  • A hacker sends you an Email that contains a dangerous link. They could clone a legitimate Email, so you won’t suspect a thing. 
  • You, the unsuspecting victim, click the link.
  • You’re taken to a webpage where you fill a form
  • Whatever information you put into the site, the hackers get on a platter of gold. 
  • Armed with your information, the hacker logs into your associated account and do as they please.😩 

To protect yourself, do the following:

  • Watch out for any Email you get and make sure it is from a trusted source 🔎.
  • If you click on any link and you have to enter your information, be sure the link is a secure one. 🔐

2. Malware

Also known as spyware, malware consists of different types of software that hackers use to steal sensitive information. 

How Hackers Infect Your Computer 

  • Hackers can send malware as an Email attachment. Once you open it, the malware installs itself automatically. 
  • You could get malware when you download content from unsecured sites.
  • Transferring documents from a virus-infected hard drive.  

How Malware Works

Most malware have specialties 

  • Some remember your browser history
  • Others will immediately steal your credentials. 
  • Some malware types could even create scam pop-ups that could destroy your computer completely. 

Whatever the specialty, malware simply needs to be installed to get to work. 

Protecting Yourself from Hackers

Taking malware out will usually require some specialized security services. 

Again, you will need to be vigilant and watch your Emails to prevent malware attacks. You also want to watch where you visit and make sure they have proper security. 

3. Data Breaches 

We all give out our personal data to other websites regularly – maybe when you’re trying to sign up for a service or even ordering a pizza online. Sadly, not all these websites are secure 😔  

Data breaches aren’t exactly your fault. It’s not like you run the website. Still, a website with your information could get breached, and the hackers could find your information lying around. Just like that, you’ve got a problem on your hands 😓  

While there is no way for you to prevent a data breach, you can at least make sure not to use the same passwords for multiple websites and accounts. This way, you can reduce your losses as much as possible. 

4. Brute Force Attacks

Here’s another tough dose of reality for you – sometimes, the password you use just isn’t strong enough. 

When you use a weak or relatable password, you’re really just making things easier for a potential hacker. Think about the times you forgot a password to something, only to get it in a few tries. A hacker who knows enough about you could pretty much do the same thing. They’ll just try hard enough, and they’re in. 

Protection Measures

To protect against a brute force attack, you can try the following: 

  • First, ensure that you’re not using a common password. Hint – if your password is “Password” of “1234,” you’re not doing yourself any favors 😅 
  • You also need to use different passwords for everything. 
  • Remember to make your passwords complex. Include numbers, letters (upper and lower case), and special symbols. 
  • You can update your passwords from time to time.

5. Public Wi-Fi Networks

Public wi-fi is a blessing. Imagine the joy you get when you get to an office space or even a chill place and you find that their wi-fi actually works. Time to update your phone and download hours’ worth of movies. 

Sadly, public wi-fi isn’t all that great as well. Here are some ways they could be bad for you: 

  • If you enter any public information on an unsecured public wi-fi, a hacker can connect to it and might be able to find it. 
  • Other Wi-Fi users could be infected with viruses. When you’re connected, their viruses could infect your computer.
  • Hackers could share inappropriate content to your computer via weak Wi-Fi networks

We’re not exactly advising against public wi-fi networks – hey, we all use some free wi-fi now and then 😉. Just be sure of the network’s security. For an added measure, don’t enter any sensitive information on a public network.