What if I tell you that you could pretty much eliminate any chance of ever getting hacked again? The title might seem like an exaggeration but it’s kinda true that most of the time 99%, any time you get hacked or virus on your computer it could have easily been avoided.
So that’s what we’re gonna do in this article, go over really simple straightforward ways to reduce almost completely the risk of getting your computer compromised and it is not that difficult to do and anyone can do. Before we begin, I would like to suggest you a google rating 5 holder password manager LastPass.
LastPass is a password manager that securely stores all your passwords for you so you only after remember one master password. So you never have to go through the trouble of looking for forgotten password or worry about being locked your account or answering a bunch of security questions because it keeps track everything for you on both desktop and mobile apps that you have. And because it has a built in password generator you no need to spend time to make strong password yourself and trying to remember that. It also makes easier to use unique passwords on every website which is extremely important. LastPass puts your password security on autopilot so you don’t have to remember, write down or resetting your passwords that you can’t remember. It just tracks and keeps everything in one secure place and the main feature is that it fills in passwords for you on websites. So, don’t have to type it in. Another co-feature is the ability to safely share your password with others through LastPass if someone needs to access to your accounts. I’ve been using LastPass for 2 years and so I can genuinly recommend to you. If you want to check it out just go to https://lastpass.com/f?58271258 invitation link.
Keep Your Software Up to Date
Now, let’s get into what you need to do to avoid getting hacked forever. So the first thing we should probably go over is what exactly do we mean by getting hacked.
So, in this article, I’m gonna go over basically three different meanings that we possibly have.
The first is getting your account hacked. Someone broke into your online account when they shouldn’t have access to that obviously.
The second meaning would be getting a classic computer virus you downloaded and running something you shouldn’t have and someone has access to your computer.
The third meaning might be a software exploit where you don’t need to necessarily do anything but your software was vulnerable and now someone is able to use that and also install a virus that is a keylogger or rootkit to completely take over and the result is the same as the classical virus.
Of course, the other possibility that someone goes specifically targets you to hack into your specific computer but most of the time that is not the case.
Really you don’t have to worry about that like government or official something like that.
Pretty much all the time what happens is an online criminal with a huge net who uses bots or software to work for them and upload them and whoever caught in the net targets them.
So, you just really wanna focus on making yourself a more difficult target than any computer virus exposed you still won’t get infected because your computer has better security.
So, if you know how to protect yourself then you don’t need to worry about viruses because they’re gonna focus on the easier targets. So, what can you do right now to fortify your computer? This step is pretty basic but this is very very essential.
This important step is to keep your OS up to date and you should use the latest version of the Operating System. That means if you use windows, you should really upgrade it to Windows 10. it is more secure than previous versions.
Yes, Microsoft does really security patches for all the versions of Windows 7, Windows 8 for a long time but they have introduced better security features in Windows 10 that Windows 7 and Windows 8 don’t really have. Of course, even if you do have a Mac its also applies to that. It is more secure to have the latest version of the Operating System and keep up-to-date inner versions and install all the patches.
Most of the time Windows and Mac keep you up to date automatically. Actually, Windows forces you to take that step. You should really avoid delaying updates. Also, you should keep up to date your software like your web browser.
You’re so much at high risk if you don’t update your software because hackers are going to write exploits that are vulnerable. But if you keep up to date your patches then you will stay safe from those exploits.
If you one of the people who doesn’t update software, you’re gonna specifically targeted by hackers because here is a deal with software exploits. you can be a victim of a “Drive-by” attack.
If you’re browsing the web and if there is an exploit on a website, you could be infected and take over even if you didn’t do anything specifically. There could be code running on the website that executes in your browser if you click anything on that website. it doesn’t matter how smart you are, how clever you are because literally, you didn’t have to do anything to get infected in that situation.
That’s why it is important to keep up with date your software so that you don’t get surprised by the things you normally able to avoid completely. Alright, so I think You got the point that you should keep up to date your software.
Get Some Sort Of Antivirus
It shouldn’t be completely your only defense but your last line defense. There is plenty of good free and premium antivirus available on the internet or shopping sites.
But in any case, you probably wanna get one that has some sort of internet security or might be called real-time protection, that basically monitors your files and requests from websites and blocks anything that is potentially malicious and again its gonna protect you from anything that could be coming through and you don’t even know about it.
This is especially important which is called “Zero-day exploit” where you have to complete it up to date because the bad guys might find an exploit in some software before they’re able to completely patch and literally everybody is exposed. So there is a chance that antivirus could be able to block it by tracking the software behavior even if it not a virus. So, the next big topic we need to talk about is…
Your Internet behavior
Behavior means, what you should be doing and being aware of to avoid getting kinds of stuff like viruses.
The first thing is pretty obvious but you need to be always aware of exactly what type of file you’re running because of a lot of time even if you’re up to date and if you manually click “run” a file then you’re gonna get infected. That is not the software mistake, that is your behavior mistake.
For example, if you go to some websites and just randomly start a file to download on your computer, obviously do not run it and more importantly get off those websites.
Especially if it is a .exe file and you didn’t do anything and it started downloading automatically then you should probably get off that website. You don’t know what else is doing in the background.
Now, one set that is extremely useful that is not even in default that you should enable, is “View All File Extensions” even if it is a known file extension. This will allow you to see exactly what type of file you’re running. Now you can enable this by going to ‘ Windows explorar>View> File Name Extensions’.
So this way if you download a picture and noticed that the file extension is .exe, well then, obviously known that it is not what it supposed to be. If you’re not super sure about a file that you have on your computer.
A good website you can use is called “Virus Total”. It is actually owned by Google now and what you can do is upload a file and it literally scans it with 30+ different antiviruses. So, you can actually see whether it is a virus or not depending on how many positive results the file gets from all antiviruses. Alright, the next topic of behavior is…
Your Email behavior
Obviously, Email is a major source of the virus spreading and you need to remember here that it is sometimes just about simply open an Email that could be a virus. especially and more specifically if you have an outdated Email client. Now Google’s Gmail is really good. It typically filters out Emails. But if you’re using Outlook or something or you’re are not using the latest version of Outlook you need to be very careful who you’re getting Email from and maybe not even open it if you don’t recognize it because there could be scripts in there. Nad again, running attachments that you don’t recognize even if it’s a word document is also about an exploit of Microsoft word’s older version. That could go out and spread itself outside of Microsoft word using an exploit and it can infect your whole computer. S, it is very important to remember that a virus doesn’t necessarily have to be a .exe file. There are other types it could use. Here is an example that never might be heard of, .vbs. It is a script file extension and it can execute code. If you run it, it will do something. It can potentially install a bigger better virus. Another one to be aware of is .msi. This is a Microsoft specific installer extension and yes this is legitimately used all the time by real programs but note that this is something that actually does something when you run it and again if you download it and you don’t recognize it, don’t think it is not an exe file and its fine and MSI file could install a better virus. The final example could be a .bat file. It is kinda like vbs. This is a scripting file extension that can do commands on the command prompt. So, don’t do this. It can expand itself to a bigger and better virus.
Avoid using public Wifi
Beware of website hacking
The most important thing you need to remember that most of the time when you get hacked on a website when someone breaks into your accounts it almost never the case a criminal actually specifically into that website and then hacked into your account.
99% of the time this is actually what happens. probably some random website that you signed up for a long time ago, someone broke into that website with poor security which is a small website o maybe even a big website though, and downloaded the entire password database.
If you’re very unlucky then that password database may be unencrypted and stored in plain text and if you’re lucky then hopefully that website did actually encrypt all the passwords in the database.
But in both cases, the result is usually the same. That password database will be basically sold off or even leaked publically. So, in the case where the password database is plain text and unencrypted, that means that hackers from all over the world now trying those passwords, emails, and password combinations on tons of different websites and see which one works.
There is also one thing, if the passwords were encrypted hackers might actually try to decrypt them. They could try to decrypt the passwords individually and if you have a weak password, it not gonna take a long time at all to be cracked.
This is exactly why you want a long and strong password. It is not so that hackers won’t be able to guess the password and type it into the website, that is not what you are doing, you trying to protect it against software which is trying to brute force your password millions of times and seconds.
So what happens next. Let’s say that you had a weak password that was easily decrypted by the hackers or even if you did have a strong password it was stored in plain text because the website has that poor security and you have no control over that.
Like I said before if you use the same password on other websites also, the hackers gonna try your password combinations and emails on a bunch of websites and if they leaked your passwords then the internet people gonna try your passwords on every website including your bank accounts.
Here is an interesting thing, if the hackers get a plain text password database then they’re gonna try a dictionary attack and use all those passwords they know that they are plain text and use it to try and decrypt a large, encrypted password database.
They literally use the dictionary of passwords they know and brute force one’s they don’t. That means, even if you have a very strong password but someone else used that same password, then they might guess you correctly because someone else uses that password and that was added to the dictionary, and they are matched up when they were trying to decrypt your password. The reason why I am telling you all these because the websites you use might not be as secure as you think.