With advancements in technology, internet usage has grown. More people are paying bills, shopping, and working online, which leaves them vulnerable to hacking. Most people tend to think hackers have nothing to gain from hacking their computers, but data is always valuable to hackers, who can sell it on the dark web or steal your identity.
To prevent hacking, you can take a few measures to protect yourself from risks such as:
Phishing scams are scams that work via email links and attachments. A seemingly innocent email that seems to be from your bank branch comes in with a link or an attachment. Innocently, you click on the link or download the attachment.
The link redirects you to a website that seems to be your bank website and prompts you to submit your username, passwords, and bank details. You go ahead and submit the details, and unknowingly, you have just given your details to hackers. The innocent attachment unleashes a malware into your PC, paving the way for the hackers to steal from you.
Ransomware is a malicious malware that infects your PC and encrypts all your data. The hackers demand payment in exchange for the encryption code. Unlike other covert forms of malware, this one openly displays threat messages on your screen. Once you pay, you have no assurance that they will not leak your data to the world.
How To Protect Your PC From Hackers
As cliché as it sounds, prevention is better than cure. Protect your PC from hackers by:
- Using Anti-virus on your machine
- Keeping Windows up to date
- Using a VPN
- Using updated web versions
- Not downloading or clicking any attachments or links
- Using secured passwords
1. Use Anti-virus
It may seem obvious to most people that they should install antivirus software to protect their PCs from malware, but not many bother to do it. There are hundreds of available options for anyone interested in installing the software. Microsoft has its free antivirus called the Windows Defender Security Center.
Once you install the antivirus, you need to update the antivirus regularly and scan your system for malware at least once a month. Click here if you looking for best anti-malware software for protecting your PC.
2. Keep Windows Up to Date
Hackers keep discovering ingenious ways to bypass Window’s in-built security features. For this reason, Microsoft releases small operating system updates every week, and large updates one or two times a year. Windows update automatically downloads and installs the download, but you need to configure the feature first.
3. Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) acts as a secure tunnel via which your PC can access the internet safely and anonymously. A VPN encrypts all data coming into and out of your PC, using a military-grade encryption standard known as AES-256. The VPN hides your location and your IP address, meaning nobody can tell your location.
4. Use Updated Web Version
Web browsers can carry bugs, just like any software. Hackers capitalize on such bugs, infect genuine sites with bugs, or create bogus bug-infected sites designed for exploitation. If your web browser has been infected with a bug, hackers can easily monitor or key log all you type, especially passwords and credit card details. Use the latest web browser version to prevent such risks. Microsoft Edge has edged out Internet Explorer, which should update itself like Firefox and Google Chrome.
5. Do not Download any Attachments or Click on Links
Treat any link or attachment within an email with suspicion, even if it seems legitimate. If a link seems suspicious, but you cannot be certain it is, copy-paste it to your browser and see where it leads. If it is malicious, your web browser will catch it in an instant.
6. Secure Passwords and MFA
Passwords may not be the best form of protection, but they offer a certain protection level against hacking. Use an alphanumerical password combined with special symbols, and couple that with MFA or multifactor authentication.
MFA is used alongside passwords and is an extra means of authenticating your identity. It could be a random and unique one-time code sent to a device you trust, or for some advanced PCs, biometric authentication such as retina scans. Avoid using one password across different accounts, and to help you remember, use a password manager that keeps a tab of all the passwords.
As careful as you are, hackers keep reinventing their tricks, so you have to stay on your toes all the time: update antiviruses, browsers, and operating systems to protect your pc and laptop. The updates protect you from known bugs and vulnerabilities that developers have discovered and that hackers may use to hack into your PC.