Overview

Since the inception of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, various industries across the globe have bloomed as new possibilities have emerged. However, what many people tend not to realise is that it also brought along with it several downsides. Be it the huge number of spam that infiltrate your email accounts or the various computer viruses that wreak havoc on business networks, the list is endless. 

 

Currently, there is a new threat known as computer hacking that has slowly yet steadily started to dominate the world. Computers are undoubtedly one of the most important devices in our daily lives. Be it for business needs or personal needs, we are heavily reliant on computers for carrying out our day-to-day work. 

 

This dependency is further misused by hackers or cyber criminals to manipulate data and steal personal information and sometimes even people’s identities. Be it small businesses or large enterprises; no one is spared from the clutches of these miscreants. Therefore, it has become extremely crucial, especially now more than ever, to protect all kinds of sensitive and personal data to avoid any kinds of serious consequences. 

 

Mentioned below are some of the best ways on how to protect your computer from hackers. 

  • Update your OS and other software frequently.

The first and foremost step in preventing computers from getting hacked is frequently updating your operating systems as and when required. Most of the time, these updates come along with several security fixes, such as preventing hackers from getting access to and manipulating your data. Therefore, it is recommended to always keep a lookout for any kind of update that might be available for your browser or application and then install them accordingly. 

  • Download up-to-date security programs

Security programs or anti-virus softwares falls under one of the most important steps when it comes to how to protect your computer from hackers and viruses. They are responsible for a number of things, such as protecting your computer from dangerous viruses that can destroy all your data or even slow down the performance of your device. 

 

The basic way in which an anti-virus software functions is that it scans your computer thoroughly, which also includes all your incoming emails, for any kind of viruses and malicious components and then deletes them accordingly.

 

This is why it is very important that you always keep your anti-virus softwares up-to-date with the latest bugs that are circulating the internet. There are a plethora of different such softwares available in the current market. Some of them are also loaded with facilities like updating themselves automatically when you are online. 

 

Some of the best antivirus softwares might include Norton 360 Deluxe, McAfee Internet Security, and Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, among others. 

 

While choosing an antivirus software, you need to follow a few basic but crucial steps.

 

  1. Ensure that your software is constantly scanning your computer properly, especially when you are downloading any files from the internet or even checking your emails.

  2.  A complete thorough scan at least twice a month to remove any kind of malicious components that can crash your device. 

  • Destroy all traces of your personal information on the hardware you plan on selling.

When you are trying to recycle or sell your old laptop or desktop, always make sure that you do a security wipe. A security wipe is basically overwriting all the data that has been stored on your computer. Overwriting data makes it much more difficult to retrieve it, instead of simply deleting it. Although even after overwriting your data, some of it might still be retrieved, it usually takes a lot of time and expertise to do so. 

 

Yet another important thing to remember during this step is that securely erasing a hard drive can actually take up a lot of hours and sometimes even days to complete. It completely depends on the size of the drive that you are using. Therefore, deleting the data just the night before you sell your device is probably not the best solution. 

  • Do not use open Wi-Fi on your router.

Connecting your device to an open Wi-Fi or unsecured Wi-Fi can be extremely dangerous and lead to serious consequences, especially when you are transferring sensitive information such as online bank passwords or something of similar nature. This is mainly because the information that is sent over an open Wireless network, without a WPA security code, can be easily intercepted by anyone. They are sent as plain simple texts. 

 

As a result, hackers can get very easy access to all your personal information without your knowledge and manipulate them accordingly. This is especially true for those computers that do not have any firewall or are not configured properly, and file sharing is enabled on them. Hackers not only can access your details, such as email accounts or passwords, but they can also launch damaging virus attacks and spam into your device. 

  • Stay extra careful of passwords.

Using complex passwords and strong authentication methods is another great way on how to secure your computer from hackers. Avoid any kind of word that can be easily found in a dictionary or any kind of reference to your personal information, such as your anniversary date or birth date.

 

 A strong password usually comprises at least eight characters, a combination of different letters, numbers and special characters. You should also remember not to use the same password for every account. You should always opt for different passwords for different accounts, such as bank accounts, social media accounts or email accounts. 

 

Yes, it can be quite a daunting task to remember all these different passwords at the same time. Therefore, it is recommended to use some kind of password manager software that will not only keep all your passwords secure but also help you create strong individual passwords. 

  • Come up with creative answers for your security questions.

One of the most widely-used methods used for password retrieval and reset is security questions. These questions are mostly always personal to every user and are based on the assumption that the answer to the said questions will only be known by the users alone. 

 

Therefore, it is necessary to always opt for more challenging questions instead of generic ones such as, ‘What is your father’s name?’ or ‘Which school did you attend?’

 

One efficient way to ensure that you have chosen a strong security question is by expanding the number of possible answers to the question. What this does is it limits the number of chances for the hacker to come up with the right combination. 

Last but not least, be as creative as possible with your security questions and answers as well. 

  • Practice smart emailing.

Emails are considered to be one of the most important modes of communication in the business world. However, it is also one of the most vulnerable to cyber attacks as well. Therefore it is very important to implement certain email security tips to keep your data intact and protect your business. Some of them are mentioned below.

 

  1. Always use strong, complex passwords that are at least eight characters long for your email accounts. 

  2. Give proper training to all your employees to identify any kind of red flags for phishing attacks.

  3. Always try to use two-factor authentication.

  4. Do not forget to use encrypted connections. 

  • Stay cautious while sharing any info with websites.

Always be extra careful while sharing information, no matter how trivial it is, to any online website or platform. Differentiating between a real request for information and a well-disguised phishing scam can be quite difficult at times. Therefore, you need to follow these below-mentioned steps to keep your device and data protected. 

 

  1. Creating an account is not always necessary - More often than not, you can find various websites that need a personal account to access the content. However, sometimes the main intention of creating that account is to basically collect your personal information. 

  2. Try to keep your personal information private - This includes most everything that you post on social media platforms.

  3. Do not overshare- Overshare can lower the level of your cyber security and make you an easy target of phishing scams and malware. 

  • Keep sensitive data off the cloud.

Storing data in the cloud is basically similar to storing your information on someone else’s computer. This means that anybody can easily access your data and manipulate them accordingly. Therefore, it is always advisable to never store any kind of sensitive or classified data on the cloud. If at all there is a need to do the same, you should always encrypt your data before uploading. 

Conclusion

With this, we come to an end to the various ways of how to protect your computer from hackers. Following only one step will never give you the desired results. Therefore you should always combine the best security tools along with the practices, as stated previously, to protect your computer and networks from unauthorised access. Additionally, you can also look out for several cyber insurance policies that are currently available in the market. Visit  Bajaj Markets website to get all the necessary information on the most affordable and budget-friendly gadget insurance policies. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • ✔️What are some of the most common attacks used by hackers?

    Some of the most common attacks used by hackers include

    • Malware

    • Phishing

    • Man-in-the-middle attacks and 

    • Denial of service attacks, among others.

  • ✔️How can I know if my computer has been hacked?

    There are certain signs that you can look out for, especially if you are under the suspicion that your computer has been hacked. Those are

    • Your online passwords are not working

    • Unexpected softwares gets automatically installed on your computer.

    • There are strange network traffic patterns

    • Frequent random pop-ups appear on your screen.

  • ✔️What is malware?

    Also known as malicious softwares, malware are basically programs or files that can intentionally harm your computer or website. Some of the most common malware include ransomware, Trojans, and keyloggers, among others.