How Not To Get Hacked, Part 2

Just weeks after the initial celebrity photo hacking scandal, known as Celebgate, took over the news, reports of more compromised photos have continued to surface, claiming that more images of Jennifer Lawrence and new photos of Taylor Swift have hit controversial websites like 4chan. As A-listers and their publicists continue to either deny or own up to the revealing photographs, the fact remains that online vulnerabilities continue to be a threat.

If you tuned in last week, I hope you had a chance to read the first part of my internet safety guide, How To Not Get Hacked, Part I where I was able to relay some valuable information on computer safety from my friend and FBI internet expert. As promised, here’s even more guidance to keeping your personal information and photos (clothed, or otherwise), safe. Take notes and keep it handy!

Ver más: How To Not Get Hacked, Part I


Internet Safety


Keep your browser updated – Whether you choose to use Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Firefox, make sure you have the latest version. This closes up security loopholes that may have been previously undetected. Some browsers update automatically, like Chrome. Others, like IE, require constant monitoring. Whatever your choice, make sure it’s current.

Use “https” when available – You’ll often notice there is either an “http” or “https” in your address bar when browsing online. Whenever possible, opt for the “https” site, which means it’s a secure connection. This usually comes up during a credit card or PayPal transaction, but if it doesn’t, it’s best to check out in some other, more secure way.

Stay away from auto-fill – This is where you have to weigh security vs. convenience. Auto- fill may make it easier to fill in forms online, but consider that this information is now also stored in an easily accessible location. It’s best to fill in your forms manually for the sake of security.

Don’t fill in any information that isn’t absolutely required – Be succinct when filling out forms online. Any additional details you provide (even titles like Mr. or Mrs. and phone numbers) allow those who prey more opportunities to absorb your identity.

Don’t store your credit card on websites –This gives 24 hr access to hackers to cultivate that information while you’re sleeping, eating, working, and otherwise living your life thinking the information is safe.

Beware “phishing” – These are malicious attempts from hackers to direct users to websites that look like the authentic sites but are set up to try to catch your personal information. Rather than clicking on a link received in an email trying to lead you there, type out the address on your browser.

Check for security certificates on secure sites – If you’re on a financial page, or anything dealing with ultra-sensitive information, look for verified security certificates somewhere on the site.

Be wary of URL shorteners – Programs such as Bitly or Tiny URL are sometimes used to misdirect users to end up in a completely different location (most often malicious sites for phishing).


Email Precautions


Don’t give your email to just anybody – Once anyone has an email address, it’s just one step closer to figuring out the password and recovering sensitive data from other accounts. use a different email for dating or billing

Don’t reply to emails you don’t know – Chances are, if it’s too good to be true, it is. That Saudi prince who needs your help and wants to give you millions for it isn’t going to sweep you away in a fairytale whirlwind romance.

Don’t click on links if you don’t know who they are – These links will likely redirect you to dangerous and misleading pages.

Be alert – Even if you know who is sending the email them, make sure it’s legitimately from that individual. Do they write and communicate as they usually would? Or are they just sending a strange link with no name or description?

Link safety – Before clicking on a link in an email, hover over it with your pointer and look at the bottom left of your screen to see where the link really goes.                 

Even if it’s a friend, make sure it’s a legitimate email – Hackers will sometimes use familiar emails and contact lists to send out bad links and phish out valuable information.

Be wary of attachments – Anything with .exe , .com, .dll, and .vb extensions are scripts that will run on your computer and likely install spyware or viruses you really don’t want to have.

Use separate email accounts for banking, finance, and other sensitive information that nobody should know. – Don’t share these email addresses with anyone.



Double Authentication


Two-factor Authentication – This method of double layer authentication basically allows for two means by which you have to sign in to an account to verify your identity. For example, having a code sent to your phone to plug in when you enter a password on a site. Use this method whenever possible for an extra layer of security.

Backup emails – You will likely forgot a password from time to time. When that happens, have a separate email account for recovering it and tell no one about it.


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