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How to Avoid Being Targeted by Hackers


Nowadays, there are two primary reasons behind a hacking incident: technical and human error. And although there isn’t much you can do to remedy coding vulnerabilities, you can surely improve your behaviour by eradicating bad cybersecurity habits.

To do this, you should know the features hackers want in a target and the things you can do to prevent getting hacked.

What Hackers Look For In A Target

When looking for targets, money is one of the most significant factors. Although they may not be directly hunting for it, money is usually the endgame for most cybercriminals. With this in mind, hackers often look for someone they assume can produce money. It doesn’t have to be a lot of cash – just enough to ensure they’ll get the proper compensation for the “job” they do.

Another factor that hackers heavily consider is a person’s technical skills – they’re more likely to attack someone who isn’t technically literate. As a result, older individuals are this group’s favourite targets because they aren’t adept with the latest technological developments.

Lastly, some hackers use their skills for revenge or harassment. For example, the Anonymous hacking group is known for targeting famous individuals and corporations to expose their wrongdoings. And in 2021, the infamous group released a video for Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors. They threatened to expose the CEO because of his constant meddling with Bitcoin’s volatility.

How To Avoid Being Targeted By Hackers

  1. Minimise Your Online Presence

It’s no surprise that with the rise of social media across the Internet, almost everyone is broadcasting everything about their lives. However, it would be best to remember that even the tiniest information about your job and purchases may lead to detrimental results. Hackers may use them to know you better and gather enough data to guess your passwords, credit card information, and more.

It would be best to keep your online presence at a minimum and only to use the safest social media platforms. Moreover, try your best to have as few accounts as possible. Doing so reduces your risk of being targeted by a large-scale breach, similar to the 2020 Facebook data breach.

2. Learn How To Identity Phishing Messages

With the rise of recent innovations, hackers were able to use the pandemic to their advantage. Now, they use it as cover to continuously launch multiple waves of phishing attacks and sketchy Google Drive scams. But as an Internet user, it’s your responsibility to assess whether a message is reliable or not carefully. So, as a rule of thumb, you should think before you click. And whenever a new email or text message comes from an untrusted source including a link that will redirect you to a foreign site, it’s a phishing scam.

Although there’s no standard way to identify different forms of phishing messages, being aware of the threat will incredibly reduce their effectiveness. So be cautious with every message you receive; never download files from untrusted sources.

3. Regularly Update Devices And Software

Cybercriminals are known for taking advantage of vulnerabilities within a device or software, ultimately using them as entry points to access a user’s computer. Therefore, it’s crucial to update your computers and network defenders as soon as a new patch or update is available to prevent unwanted hacks.

So the next time you receive a reminder about an update, don’t skip it – this applies to mobile phones, tablets, laptops, computers, and various applications. And for your convenience, you may even leverage automatic updates to ensure they’ll automatically take place.

4. Create Strong Passwords

To avoid getting hacked, you should develop a strong password; don’t use mundane ones like your birthday or anniversary. When creating a code, make sure it has both capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. If you’re unsure, you may always try a password generator to ensure that it will be as unique as possible. Plus, you shouldn’t use one password for multiple accounts; don’t recycle it across all apps.

If you’re bad at remembering passwords, you may always seek help from a password manager to store all your passcodes. However, having a strong yet memorable master password is vital and secure your account with multi-factor authentication.

5. Invest In A Multi Factor Authentication System

A multi factor authentication system pertains to the process of seeking additional information after punching in your password. It’s a reliable way to verify whether the individual trying to access the account is the owner. In a nutshell, it’s taking a step to double-check whether you’re really who you say you are. These are the most commonly asked questions when using MFA:

  • PIN code

  • A pre-answered question (“Where did you meet your spouse?”, “Who is your favourite elementary teacher?”)

  • A One-Time Pin sent to your email or registered phone number

  • A face ID or fingerprint scan

These authenticating factors are usually more difficult for hackers to guess and provide. As a result, they end up going for an easier target without a strong password and MFA.

The Takeaway

The digital age comes with great revolutions, but it also has a dark side – cybercrime. And because the world is increasingly turning digital, even sensitive information is becoming easier to access. Because of this, it’s your responsibility to protect yourself from bad actors like hacktivists who continuously try to invade your privacy.

As early as now, being cyber smart will get you a long way. And who knows, it might influence the next person to make smarter decisions while browsing the web. So to protect your personal information, make sure to follow the detailed guidelines above. In no time, you’ll be protected from bad actors like hackers on the Internet.

~ Regi Publico Blogging


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