Half-Hacked

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It is estimated that in the past 12 months roughly half of the American adult population has had their information exposed by hackers. That is a ridiculous number and kind of a testament to how far we have come in the digital crime era. It’s not because we are ignorant to bad stuff on the internet because we aren’t. Many of us have had our information stolen simply by visiting a store during the holidays (that was scary). The point I’m making is that protecting yourself 100% is simply not possible throughout day to day life but there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself on your computer and online in general

Computer-Code

We don’t want to see ad’s therefore we ignore them, its a phenomenon called ad-blindness that can get us into hot water at times. How often have you clicked through several prompts just to get a game installed? Back in the golden days when you installed software of just about any kind it was exactly as packaged. These days just about anything you download, (including tools we like) have stuff that you probably don’t want on your computer attached, to it. PUP’s, or potentially unwanted programs are a common annoyance when installing any kind of software that you download on the internet. While these little programs aren’t typically malicious they can be a drag on system resources. Some are packed with nasty browser redirects (takes your internet browser to targeted shady links) that can further pack your computer with more serious malware that phones home to a worker computer somewhere just waiting on your call.

50568_3739 Don’t even visit questionable websites. If you don’t know if a site is questionable that means its questionable. I recommend using a search engine like Google to avoid getting sidetracked by ad-plagued results pages. These ads are targeted to look like what you just searched for; for instance if you search for CNN.com, you come up with CNN.org/news/specialoffer/dentalwhiteningcouponsdeluxe or some garbage like that. If when you search with Google you are still getting too many fake items on top of your search results then something is wrong. Browser redirects and ill placed clicks are two of the most common ways you open yourself up for attack. That ad-blindness we talked about earlier comes back into play when your brain turns off after reading CNN. Dot ORG is not going to cut it for this famous news networks URL. Be alert and stay far away from questionable websites   been_hacked Change your passwords often or you will regret even owning a computer. Long sentences make great passwords. Mix a few caps in there and maybe a symbol here or there and you have yourself a password that will take years to crack (good thing you’ll be changing it every 6 months). The thing is its annoying to change your password and nobody wants to do it. You want your simple, easy to remember password that you’ve had for years to remain the same. Think about all the photos on our Facebook, all those years of pictures that likely you have accumulated already on just that one social networking platform. Now imagine all of that gone because you didn’t change your password...ever. It can happen to you and your images could become someone else images, even your private messages to friends and family. Hope you’ve never sent financial information over Facebook or email because its not a great idea. Those archives are often searchable even after deletion if a hacker is really savvy. If you’d like to find out more on how to protect yourself and your family from being attacked come see us!

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