7 Simple Ways to Protect Your Computer from Hackers: Be informed

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  1. There are some websites, browsers and applications that have the option of “remembering” your passwords for you. Although it’s always quite tempting to say yes to this option, avoid it. The danger in accepting this is that once someone gains access to your system, they can have access to all the websites you’ve visited and your passwords.
  2. Always ensure that you change your password regularly. There are certain programs used by hackers known as password crackers that are capable of decoding your password either by guessing (brute force attack) or using a dictionary attack method. Changing your password regularly ensures that it remains difficult to crack or guess.
  3. Avoid using predictable passwords that can easily be associated with you. Using passwords such as your kids’ name, birthdays, etc is not such a great idea.This also goes for PIN numbers. Pin numbers for your credit/debit cards should be a mixture of digits that are abstract and do not have any link to you.
  4. Your password should be complex. A combination of abstract numbers and letters that are easy for you to remember and difficult for hackers to crack is advisable.
  5. Ensure that you protect your passwords, especially when people are around you. Some people are blessed with the natural gift of “shoulder surfing” and can study the key strokes on your laptop well.
  6. Lock your system when you’re looking away- don’t just take a walk away from your system without locking it no matter the urgency of the distraction – anything can happen. This is particularly important when you’re logged on to financial applications.
  7. Don’t give your password out, send your password in an email or over a telephone line to anyone.

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