How to Protect Your Computer From Hackers

As more of our lives move online, protection from hackers becomes more important. Hackers are primarily focused on two things: causing chaos and stealing money. They get personal information from you and use it to create unauthorized charges against your accounts, or they can disrupt your business by using malware to trigger denial of service attacks or other issues.

There are a variety of methods to stop cyberattacks. Most don’t require a lot of effort. Begin by encrypting data that isn’t being transmitted over the internet (that includes social security numbers of employees and bank routing numbers, and other sensitive information). Enable the full-disk encryption tool that comes with the majority of operating systems. For Macs this is FileVault, while on PCs, it’s BitLocker.

Always keep your software up-to-date. Regularly update your software programs. Many hackers gain access to computers via outdated software. Updates fix these weaknesses, making it much more difficult for hackers to break into your system and steal data.

Install a firewall on all your devices. Firewalls are a network system that is designed to regulate the flow of and outgoing data on your computer. Windows and macOS come with firewalls built-in, but it is recommended that you utilize a third-party program to safeguard mobile devices and home networks.

Review your device names and the names of your networks. Do not use personal identifiers such as your last name or phone number in these names. This could allow hackers easy access to your information.

Be wary of discussing your work in public. Even the smallest details, like your hometown or the names of your pets can be used to help hackers penetrate security systems.

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