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protect against hackersOver the past few decades, we’ve seen many technological advancements. In fact, the advancements have been so quick that even tech-savvy individuals can end up falling by the wayside. I speak from experience.

There is a downside to this technological growth speed, though. Hackers. People who create malicious software in order to inflict harm against users. Sometimes, the malicious software is made to steal valuable information, like credit card numbers. It’s always a pain in the butt when you have to deal with such an experience.

Keep yourself protected with these easy tips on how to thwart most hacking attempts. Some effort and learning may be required, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run.

Install Protective Software

protect against hackersWhile firewalls and antivirus software sound important, they are not 100% effective. Antivirus software in particular is a reactionary defense, meaning it can protect against known infections, but there will always be new and improved versions of a virus that can bypass even the most up-to-date defenses.

There are 2 main types of protective software when it comes to Internet safety – network firewalls and antivirus software. A firewall is something that protects your private network from being accessed by an outsider. Antivirus software protects your personal computer from malicious infections.

Here are some awesome security tools 7 Essential Security Downloads You MUST Have Installed 7 Essential Security Downloads You MUST Have Installed Read More that you should know about.


Update Your Operating System

When companies like Microsoft and Apple release newer versions of their operating systems, they aren’t just adding new features and improving aesthetics. One of the big selling points of having the latest operating system is that security vulnerabilities are patched.

protect against hackers

Again, no operating system will ever be 100% exploit-proof. However, you can greatly increase your protection against malicious attacks by patching to the latest versions when available.  The Microsoft patches can be accessed via Windows Update (or in the case of Vista and Windows 7, via your Start Menu).

Avoid Shady & Unreliable Websites

protect against hackersThere are some sites that you know you can trust simply because they are owned and operated by a reliable and reputable company. For example, you know that a website like CNN or MakeUseOf wouldn’t try to install malware on your computer. However, there are some sites that would. Try to avoid visiting websites that you are unfamiliar with.

If you want to visit a site but aren’t sure of its reputability, you can use a service like Web of Trust. Web of Trust will rate websites based on certain criteria and tell you how trustworthy they are based on user experiences.

At the end of the day, you should never click on any links that you do not trust fully.

Avoid Unsolicited Email Attachments

protect against hackersIf you’re using email in this day and age, you likely have some sort of filter set up to whisk away those pesky spam emails. Gmail will do this for you by default. However, sometimes an email will get past the filters and you’ll be none the wiser.

The best course of action would be to refrain from even opening unsolicited emails. However, for sure, you should never open an email attachment if you don’t know the person sending it. Even if you do know the person, you shouldn’t open an attachment if you weren’t expecting it – sometimes viruses propagate by hijacking an email address and spreading to their contacts.

Opening a malicious email can infect your system without your knowledge or permission. Then, before you know it, your computer crashes and won’t boot up. Or something like that. Just avoid opening unsolicited emails and you’ll be good to go.

Never Leave Your Computer Unattended

This is more of a common sense suggestion than the previous tips, but it’s still important. Never leave your computer unattended, especially if you’re in a public place.

First of all, if you’re alone in public, then someone might steal your computer. But even if they don’t, they could play a prank on you and visit a shady site on your browser. Friends and family can be equally likely to play a prank on your computer.

protect against hackers

At the very least, lock your screen. If you don’t want to do that, then take it with you! Try not to leave your computer in a vulnerable location where anyone could fool around with it (or take it).

What tips would you recommend for protection against a computer hacker?  Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Ninja Hacker Image Via Shutterstock, Computer Security Image Via Shutterstock, Malware Image Via Shutterstock, Email Image Via Shutterstock

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    October 23, 2016 at 11:55 am

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  2. Kurt Decker
    September 20, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Another very good common sense article. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Shehan Nirmal
    June 1, 2012 at 4:21 am

    What happened to ANONYMOUS...???

  4. Michael Dowling
    April 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I've been using a sandbox program when I surf.It's called Sandboxie,and it's free.Haven't gotten infected yet,and I have been using Sandboxie for several years.

  5. Paul
    April 25, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Well that was a waste of 2 or 3 minutes. Thought there was going to be some useful stuff here. Might be useful for noobs and the like. Anybody with a modicum of brainpower and having used the net for more than 6 months, this would have been totally useless.

    • Joel Lee
      April 25, 2012 at 5:41 am

      It's a good thing there are no more newbies on the Internet, am I right?

  6. Chun Tat David Chu
    April 25, 2012 at 1:03 am

    I will add a 6th tip which is change your default DNS server to use OpenDNS instead. You can redirect all DNS requests either at the router level or at the OS level.

    OpenDNS simply will block you from going to known malicious website.

    • Joel Lee
      April 25, 2012 at 1:58 am

      I use OpenDNS for web filtering. I wasn't aware that their service also blocks malicious requests. I'll have to look into that. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Carl Vinken
    April 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    This sounds nice!

  8. Krishnapriya
    April 24, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    WOT isn't always reliable. Sometimes the ratings are outright wrong. It actually rated my local government education department's website as not trustworthy.