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Arm yourself against hackers

10 tips to protect yourself online from hackers

10 tips to protect yourself online from hackers

Not sure how to protect yourself online? 

Scared that you might get hacked?


You’ve heard horror stories about people’s identities being stolen and their bank accounts emptied.

Stay safe online with our top 10 tips to protect yourself from unwanted hackers. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to surf the web with peace of mind.

1. Understand the current scams

Scammers are always coming up with new ways of scamming people out their hard-earned money. They offer a product or service that seems too good to be true and call you asking for personal information such as PINs or account details

The more creative the better!  Scams are constantly changing so it is important to be aware of what current scams are circulating at the moment.  It all starts with a conversation – the more you talk to people about it, the more scams you will learn to avoid

Key tip: Don’t download attachments from or open links in emails or messages unless you are sure about the origin of the message.

2. Protect your passwords

Are you doing a good job of securing your digital life? Passwords are the first line in protecting access, but we’ve seen many cases where they can be easily compromised or stolen by hackers who want more information about you and your financial transactions online

Passwords aren’t foolproof, of course. Any determined hacker can get past them, just as a burglar can get past a locked door. But despite repeated warnings from experts, many people are still doing the digital equivalent of leaving a key in the lock of their front door.

Key tip: Change your password regularly and use strong passwords that include numbers, symbols, and upper/lower case letters

3. Install updates when released

When you update your phone or computer, you get the latest security patches and new features that can make your life easier

Updates for your computer’s operating system will keep it running smoothly and avoid any potential problems with bugs or viruses

Updating will help prevent identity theft and other cyber crimes from happening to you

If you’re a business owner, updating is essential because outdated software can lead to productivity losses

4. Secure your social media

Your personal information may be at risk if your social media accounts are not secured.  Hackers may be able to access your account and post content that is damaging to your reputation  You may lose access to your account if it is hacked or compromised. Criminals may use your social media accounts to commit fraud or other crimes  Your social media accounts can be used to gather information about you for identity theft

 When was the last time you checked your privacy and security settings on Facebook, Instagram, Google, Microsoft or any online presence?

5. Use Virus Protection

Viruses can infect your computer and steal your personal information  They can also slow down your computer’s performance, making it difficult to work on important tasks. Some viruses can even damage your computer’s hardware

Antivirus programs protect you from a variety of different types of malware (malicious software)  It’s always better to be safe than sorry- having an antivirus program is one more way to protect yourself from cybercrime

 Turn off Bluetooth when not using it to avoid being hacked wirelessly by a nearby device

6. Use Multifactor Authentication where possible

Multifactor authentication is quick and easy to setup and adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts  It prevents unauthorized access to your accounts, even if someone has your login information.

Multifactor Authentication (or two factor authentication) can be used with phones, tablets and laptops to keep your data safe even if your device is stolen.

It’s a good way to protect yourself from cyber attacks

7. Know the risks when using a wireless network

Unsecured networks are vulnerable to hackers who can steal your data or install malware on your computer. If you’re using a public wireless network (like in a coffee shop, airport or library), there’s also the risk of someone seeing your personal information or even stealing your identity. Avoid accessing any banking or other highly secure data unless you have a VPN.

8.  Use a Firewall

Firewalls are security measures to prevent unauthorized access to your data, they work by denying connections that originate from an untrusted source and allow only those that come from a trusted network or host.  A firewall can be configured as either software (a computer program) running on the machine, or hardware (an appliance), at the end point of one’s network connection

A firewall is another method of protecting your computer from malware, viruses, and intrusions – by stopping hackers from accessing your personal data.   Firewalls can also be used to block content that is inappropriate for children or the workplace

9 Secure your Router

Routers are one of the most common targets for hackers.  They can use your router to do anything they want, like steal information or take control of your computer and all of your devices. Routers come with default settings which are easy to get into and make it simple for anyone to find out what type of router you have and how to hack it online.  Unless you secure your router, you don’t know who is on your network- someone could be using it as a gateway into other networks in the area Compromised routers can lead to identity theft

10. Make Regular backups

Working on your devices can come with a number of risks – your computer can crash or your hard drive fail resulting in total loss of data. A virus or malware may infect your computer and delete your data.  A hacker may lock your computer and demand a ransom for you to get access to your data.  Theft or natural disasters can result in you no longer having access to your data.

No matter what device you are using, whether a computer, phone or tablet it is essential to regularly backup your data to an external source (like another computer/ cloud or external hard drive) and to make sure that the backup is available at a separate location.

You’re now armed with the knowledge of how to protect yourself from unwanted hackers. You know the importance of using strong passwords, changing them often, and keeping your software up-to-date. And you won’t be afraid to shop or bank online anymore!

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