For all the wonderful things that the internet has made possible, it definitely comes with its fair share of risks. The more we come to depend on the internet, the more opportunities there are for your privacy and even your identity to be compromised. Any data on your computer from pictures to credit card information can be taken by hackers. But how do these data leaks happen and is there anything you can do to keep yourself protected? Keep reading to learn more!
How do leaks happen?
A hacker steals your data either by physically taking the computer and gaining access to it that way or by remotely accessing your data by breaking past your defenses.
They will first look for any weaknesses in your system security then plan an attack based on those weak points. Once the attack is launched, they will likely either take your data and either leak it online or attempt to blackmail you with it.
In most cases, hackers will steal financial information, personal information (contact info, medical information), and sensitive photographs. Basically, anything that you would want to keep private is something that a hacker will look for.
Can I keep myself safe online?
The dangers are real but there are steps you can take to both prevent and control damage. It just takes a few smart practices and some advance preparation. Here are a few of the things you can do to keep yourself and your reputation safe:
Seek professional privacy and reputation management
Professionals like the ones you’ll find here can provide real support with all forms of media (traditional and digital). They have the know-how and skills to prevent data breaches, harassment, and other intrusions on your privacy.
Keep your computer updated
This is a basic and fundamental step to protecting your privacy. Without strong software to protect your computer from viruses and malware that can steal your information, just about anybody with a basic knowledge of hacking can get in.
In addition to getting good malware and virus protection software, you need to keep both that software and everything else on your computer completely update. Outdated versions of programs put you at risk. Be proactive about this.
Use strong passwords that change often
If you choose passwords because they are easy for you to remember, then you likely have a password that is easy to hack. Weak credentials (passwords and other login information) are one of the number one causes of a data breach. Here are a few tips for creating strong passwords:
- Avoid full words. Instead, try an acronym or other series of letters that doesn’t actually spell any words.
- Use a mixture of capital and lowercase letters.
- Include numbers and symbols. And not just at the end. Put them in different places throughout the password.
Don’t use the same password for more than one account. And change your passwords every 6 months at a minimum. If you are particularly concerned about your security, change it monthly.