Internet Security Part 1

I just heard on the news yesterday that a bunch of big email host, including Yahoo and Gmail, just got hacked and that is was a good idea to reset my password.  Come on, Gmail is Google!  If Google can be hacked, then anyone can, so what can we possibly do?

First, backup your data.  One of the biggest scams among hackers today is hacking your accounts and holding your information for ransom.  If you’ve backed up your data, pictures, etc… on a local, preferably removable, hard drive, or multiple and most importantly, separate locations (ie. Dropbox, Google Drive), you can then tell the hackers where they can stick their ransom demands.  

So how do I make things more difficult for Hackers?

Secondly, don’t make it too easy for the hackers.  Unless you’re a billionaire or have ton info like Social Security numbers and customer information, you’re probably not a priority, and if you prove to be at all difficult to hack, they’ll move on to someone easier.

Do not use public wifi for anything involving passwords especially bank accounts.  If you need to check your balance, make a payment or transfer funds, either do it from home or use the 4G data on your phone or tablet.  Public WiFi is a two way street.  With the right software someone can both watch the data you are transmitting, similar to when the cops wiretap a phone, and they can use your WiFi connection to gain access into your computer.  

  1. If you need to check your balance, make a payment or transfer funds, either do it from home or use the 4G data on your phone or tablet.  
  2. Make sure you have a good firewall installed and running, to help prevent someone tapping into your computer while you sip your $6 latte

Have strong passwords and change them regularly.  Hacking isn’t like it is on TV with some geek with lighting fast typing skills, entering code into some secret “backdoor” in your computer.  Often hacking is a computer program trying a whole bunch of variations of letters and numbers trying to figure out your password.  Some programs with also comb the web for hints, such as your kids names, you old phone numbers, and add this personal information to their attack.

In part 2, I’ll go into the do’s and dont’s of passwords and give you some ideas on how to create strong passwords that you can remember and a neat trick for using those same passwords on multiple accounts (sort of).

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