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How to avoid getting hacked

by Andrew Okwuosah, Digital Editor

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It’s no secret that hacking is at the forefront of every aspect of our lives thanks to technology. Whether it’s the evening news, your email inbox, or an episode of Mr. Robot, hacking is always a concern that’s seemingly on the forefront of modern society. Here’s how to avoid becoming a victim:

Two-step authentication

photo by Andrew Okwuosah

Two-step (or two-factor) authentication is a second layer of security for your online accounts alongside your normal password.

Most major services (Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have it in some shape. In most cases, you’ll get a code or some other prompt sent to your mobile device through either a smartphone or a mobile app (either the service’s app or through an authentication app like Authy or Google Authenticator).

This is a great added way to secure your data that shouldn’t take more than a couple seconds on each login.

Secure your devices

photo by Andrew Okwuosah

This should go without saying, but your devices need to be secured in some way. Whether it’s a PIN, pattern, or fingerprint, making it one step harder for a potential attacker to get a hold on your devices goes a long way towards ensuring that you don’t become a victim.

Use strong passwords

photo by Andrew Okwuosah

 

Making sure that all of your passwords are rock solid (no “1234,” “abcd,” or even worse “password”) is a must even with two-factor authentication enabled. Passwords should contain a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters and should be at least 12 characters long.

If you need help remembering these passwords, use a password vault like LastPass (my personal choice) or 1Password. Make sure that these vaults have a strong password and two-factor authentication (if possible) enabled for maximum security.

Audit your accounts

photo by Andrew Okwuosah

 

It’s also worth going through your accounts to make sure that none of your personal information is going to places where it shouldn’t be. Google has a handy Security Checkup feature that lets you review information like ways to recover your account if you were to forget your password or lose access to it, recent sign-ins, and the permissions that your account gives to other services to use information from it (Think signing into Candy Crush with a Facebook account).

For other services, most of these things are available in the security section of the settings.

Follow me around the interwebs for more cool stuff from me, and Workaholic will be back next week.

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How to avoid getting hacked