5 Habits That May Make You Get Hacked

Hacking is the act of gaining unauthorized access to a computer system. Your smartphone, laptop or digital device can get hacked. Cyber attacks have been on the increase after many activities being moved to the online platform due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Anybody who has not secured themselves enough can be hacked. To avoid this, here are a few habits you should shake off.

  1. Using Public Wi-Fi

Everybody loves free things especially internet, right? Next time you are in a restaurant you may want to think twice before connecting to their Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi is mostly unsecured which leaves your device vulnerable to attackers who exploit security flaws in the network. Hackers can easily position themselves between you and the point of connection.

This leads to information being sent through the attacker. After the attacker has compromised your device, they can access your confidential information such as credit card details or even passwords. They are also able to distribute malware which can then be used to manipulate you. To avoid such dangers, avoid using public Wi-Fi but if you have to, use a virtual private network (VPN). VPN ensures end-to-end encryption which prevents hackers from intercepting your network.

2. Using Similar Passwords for Everything

Memorizing passwords for different online accounts may be a daunting task. However, making all your online accounts and websites have same passwords is a loophole for hackers. Some of the sites you log into may be breached which means your password will be compromised and all other accounts with that similar password may be compromised too.

Password reusing leads to data breaches which leads to information harvesting by hackers. This means the attacker can use your information in whatever way they please. Through this, they can even get access to your useful information like bank details. With your bank details and logins, the attacker can shop online and you will unknowingly master the payment. To tackle this problem, you can get a password management app which is secure or encrypted. Also, make sure that your passwords are not easy to configure.

3. ‘I have Nothing to be Hacked’ Mindset

Many people think that they have nothing that interests a hacker. Anyone can become a victim of a cyber attack and hacking is not only for the mighty. Everybody has information they consider private which hackers can use to blackmail them in order to keep it private. Financial account details can also be stolen and used to fetch cash. There is also the issue of identity theft. Your identity could be stolen and be used for illegal purposes. Thinking you have nothing that could be of benefit to an attacker should be erased from your mind. Hackers are malicious people and they will always find a way to lure you into their traps after they find you vulnerable.

4. Clicking on any interesting link online

Many times when you are surfing through the web and you see an interesting link pop up you always click without second thought, right? This may be a hacker’s trap disguised as a lifetime opportunity. Such links may be carrying malware or viruses which will be deposited into your computer upon clicking them. A hacker may even use such links to have remote access to your computer. Some links may be phishing links which steal data on your device. This means that upon clicking them, the process of infecting your device with malware or stealing your data starts. If you suspect that you may have clicked a phishing link, make sure not to enter any data and disconnect your device from the internet. Also, make sure you scan your machine with an anti-virus software.

5. Downloading any Anti-virus Software

Hackers may use an infectious code to trick you into downloading it as an anti-virus software. This may be in form of a pop-up on your laptop which warns you that your laptop is at risk if you don’t download the free antivirus software provided right away. Downloading such software may block your laptop from using genuine antivirus solutions. To avoid this, always download anti-virus software from trusted vendors. Make sure that your software is always up-to-date and has a pop-up blocker to block unsafe links.

Being secure on the internet largely depends on you and your activities. Make sure you are always extra careful to avoid giving a hacker a backdoor to manipulate or steal from you. Happy surfing!

Hello world! My name is Wanjiku Kamau. I am a cyber security enthusiast, I am learning, un-learning and re-learning and while at it, taking you with me!