How To Not Get Hacked, Part I

Though internet fraud isn’t the kind of thing to surprise anyone these days, the recent celebrity-aimed privacy breaches (a.k.a. Celebgate) that leaked hundreds of revealing photographs of several A-listers including Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Aubrey Plaza, and Anna Kendrick has made online security something of a more prevalent concern.

While it’s true that the iCloud accounts that have been attacked belong to public figures who lead way more interesting lives than us, the fact remains that the safety of anyone’s online data (credit cards, bank accounts, personal photos) lies in the proactive measures we take to secure them.

Ver más: How Not To Get Hacked, Part 2

I like to think that I’m pretty safe, but because I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to the topic, so I turned to a friend (and super Top Secret FBI computer expert) for his professional advice on the matter. Here’s what he had to say about keeping personal information safe and out of the wrong hands.


Hardware Safety


Wireless router – Make sure your firmware is updated to close out any security loopholes. Also, be sure your wireless router comes with some sort of basic firewall. Your best choice is WPA2 encryption.


Software Security


Stay up to date with your operating system updates – Whether it’s Mac OS X, Windows or Linux, these operating systems will have regular updates to close gaps in security. Keep up with those regularly; new versions will be released usually right after any vulnerability or threat is detected (remember that Heartbleed situation?).


Antivirus Scans


Use an antivirus scanner – Make sure it’s updated and that you scan once a week, on average. You can use programs like Norton or ClamAV.


Personal Devices


Keep them updated: Just as with laptops and desktop computers, keep up with updates on firmware for cell phones, tablets, and any other personal devices. Those  updates close up security vulnerabilities as well.


Password Safety


Keep it locked – Add a password to any and all devices whenever possible.

Change your password often – Every 60-90 days is a good time frame.

Make it complex – Make sure it’s long (about 10 characters, if possible), has upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters

Programs:  We have to remember so many passwords these days, it’s tough to keep it all straight. Check out programs like LastPass or KeePass for secure password management, rather than storing that information in a document online.


And, a word to the wise: You have a total right to take whatever pictures you wish in any state of undress you desire. Just be sure to store them safely and watch out for creeps. The internet is, sadly, full of more than just cute kittens and Pinnable blogs. Once those pictures are up online, they tend to remain there in the most haunting kind of way. Keep your information safe and unreachable from predators who attempt to infiltrate your privacy.


Stay tuned for the second part of our internet safety tips next week!

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