How to prevent a Data Breach: Malwares, Viruses, Hackers, Phishing, Identity Theft & more A list of things to know (and do) to help reduce the chance of a Data Breach from the most common exploits: Viruses, Malware, Hackers, Phishing, Identity Thefts and spying techniques

Key Elements That Threaten Your Online Security

Sadly, common sense is not very common these days. The other day my friend called me asking how to transfer money in South Africa? I said why? He said, ‘I just won a lottery from a dying person.’ I didn’t think it was okay to tell him it was a scam over the phone. I told him later and he felt devastated.

I am sure you also received one of the emails in which you won a fortune and the person told you to transfer certain transaction fees to realize the money.

With great power comes great responsibility, and with advanced technology comes high threats which can infect your system. Here are some tips which can protect your computer from being compromised and guard you against elements which threaten your online identity.

Update your Anti-virus software

Installing an anti-virus software seems like an obvious first step towards protecting your computer, but still, not everyone bothers to update their anti-virus software until it is too late.

There are tons of free anti-virus software options out there, but I will recommend Avast which is easy-to-use and doesn’t bug you much for updates because of the automatic update feature.

Windows Update

Again, most of the people ignore regular updates which are offered by Microsoft. The Hackers know this and exploit this detail to breach in the Windows by various old patches of Windows. There is no need for a manual update, Windows automatically asks for an update and you can set it for weekly updates.

With Windows 10 you cannot stop the automatic Windows update which is a good step towards keeping your system safe. You can always check if your Windows is updated or not by Check for updates feature in the Start menu.

Use the latest version of your browser

Most of the browser plugins these days contain bugs. And Hackers use these bugs to exploit systems. Websites are designed to exploit novice people and force them to give away important information which can be used against them.

Once the browser is compromised, the hacker can use it to monitor your activities, get your passwords and credit card information without even doing anything else. Therefore, it is suggested to use the latest version of the browser, anything other than that can be a risk, and use authentic & popular browsers.

Every browser whether be it Chrome, Firefox, or Safari if it is not updating regularly, you need to think of changing your browser.

Beware of Spam emails

As I’ve mentioned at the start, my friend nearly got into the trap. At times there are emails which seem legitimate but are not. Every email which asks you for your personal information needs some research.

Google the name of the company and see what people are talking about the company.

The Hackers now days are smart and cover the malware deep within layers of the spam filter. Email clients couldn’t detect these exploitations and they land in your email box.

There are tools in the market which can protect you from accessing these emails. Even free anti-virus come-up with email tools which are protecting you from these types of emails.

Use Pop-up blockers

Again, this might seem obvious but most of the novice users don’t even bother to check the plugins in their browsers and often these pop-ups attach malware in the plugin of various browsers. Many of the pop-up blockers contain malware which can exploit your data and pass it to the Hacker.

The best approach is to use pop-blocker plugins which are available free online.

Use strong system passwords

Most of the Hackers use Bruce force method to crack system passwords. But if you want to protect your system from being hacked, you need to use strong passwords. Combine the alpha-numeric and special characters to come up with a difficult password. You don’t need to remember those passwords. Write the passwords down on paper and keep them at your arms reach.

Always scan portable drives before use

Most of the people don’t bother to scan the portable drives before using it. Don’t be a fool like them. Scan every portable drive before you use to insert it into your system. And if there is even a little suspicion about that drive, it is best not to use the drive at all.

To wrap it all up

As the technology is moving ahead of time, so are the Hackers who are inventing new malware to infect the system and steal important information from them. Most of the time, even the competitors use hackers to get sales report, I have faced a similar problem but thanks to our IT support that an alarm went off and we took control over the situation. Try out these strategies to get hold of your system security and protect the system before it get compromised.

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About Mohammad Ali

Mohammad Ali is an experienced digital marketer and a search engine marketing specialist who is currently associated with Branex, as senior digital marketer and brand strategist.

View all posts by Mohammad Ali