How to Protect Your Information Online from Hackers

BlogHer Original Post

It's a crazy world out there when it comes to information theft. Hackers don’t care if you are a nice person. Hackers don't even care if you have a "small blog" when they want to take over your space. If you offer them the opportunity to be inside of your precious virtual world, they won’t hesitate and they will leave a serious mess behind. I spent hours fixing my email account and Facebook account after being hacked, and sadly I lost some friends along the way. At the end of my giant headache, I promised to myself it not only won’t happen again, but that I'd pass my hard-won lessons along. So here some useful tips that I use everyday. There is no 100% anti-hacker system, but these tips will at least allow you to feel a little more in control of your information, blog, and accounts.


Free Wifi

Image: Ken Hawkins via Flickr

Alas, it's sad but true: don’t use that convenient free public wifi if you can help it. Hackers can steal your Facebook and email passwords using a simple FireFox plugin, and they're always coming up with new ways to hack into computers on the same wifi network. In public places, it’s safer to use your own computer or phone and utilize your data plan. You can also purchase an inexpensive wifi card wherever you get your cell phone service, and many of those cards work with your data plan.



Image: Women Love Tech

It’s important to use different passwords for each online account: your banking, Facebook, Twitter, email, and anything you are doing online or from your phone and tablet. Change your passwords regularly, and make them complicated with letters and numbers.


clear web data

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Make it a habit of going into your web browser and emptying the cache. Clear your history and delete cookies every day. While it may be tempting to save your passwords in your browser in order to save yourself time: don't. Even when it's your own personal computer, and you're usually the only person to use it. Because yes, anyone can see your passwords if they use your computer, and they don't even need any fancy software to do so.



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Be wary of strange emails. Banks as well as government institutions normally do not email, and they certainly don't ask for your password to verify your account via email. If you have a doubt about an email, don’t open it. Place it into your junk folder and give a call to the institution to check.



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Hackers change their strategies all the time. This is why it’s important to take advantage of updates when they pop up. Update your anti-virus software. If you tend to forget about updates, you can set up the software so it updates automatically. Update your web browser. Your web browser is like a window to the world, so always update to the latest version of Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Do it right away when the update pops up, and keep up to date as to which is the most secure browser.



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Your Facebook address, for instance, should be https:// and not http://. To change it, go to your Facebook settings, go to secure browsing/security, and enable Facebook on a secure connection (https), save it. Look at the web address for all your important accounts. They should all be utilizing https as the prefix.


top secret

Image: Michelangelo Carrieri via Flickr

Don’t send your password, username, or account numbers over the Internet. If you need to give your social security number or password to someone, pick up the phone and speak it. Not only can an email be intercepted, but you don't want to leave that information in the sent folder of your email account.



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Back up everything to an external hard drive. You can backup your email accounts, address book, photos, documents and blog content. Backup your cell phone data including your contacts and calendar. You never know when something will go missing or be compromised.

What other tips to you have to protect your information online?

By Women Love Tech
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