Privacy on the internet is a myth. There is no such thing as online privacy in today’s world. Everything is on the internet right now. No one has to refer to any books, newspapers, or documents to access information. Every sector is using the internet to run their businesses.
There are more internet users in today’s time than ever before. Whether its online shopping or surfing their social networking accounts everyone is using the internet for some reason. But it is not as safe as you think. The officials of Facebook including its CEO had to appear in front of the US Congress for misusing user information. One cannot trust these billion-dollar companies when it comes to safeguarding user information as they can use it for their own agendas.
What people do not know is that their accounts and passwords are not safe in the hands of these companies. They use the same old technology to store your information which makes it very vulnerable to hacking. The software used to protect your information has many bugs which the developer may not know. These bugs in the systems act as doorways for the hackers when they try to steal information. Almost every electronic device that can connect to the internet can be hacked. Cybercrime is more profitable than the illegal drug trade. In 2018 hackers stole more than 600 billion dollars. For every 39 seconds, someone is getting hacked. Hackers use all kinds of techniques and the latest technology to hack into your system. Hackers find some weaknesses in a system and use it to take control of the entire system. Once they have control over it they can literally do anything they want.
Hackers use special algorithms to crack the passwords of their target. There are different types of hackers, they are classified into ethical (white hat), black hat, and grey hat hackers. White hat hackers are usually hired by companies to asses the vulnerability of the system and fix them. Black hat hackers are those who acquire access to a system illegally and manipulate it. Grey hat hackers are the ones who gain access to the site illegally but do not mean any harm. Even though you are not completely safe there some measures that everyone can follow to prevent themselves from getting hacked.
Being aware of what you share and where you share it
People share all kinds of stuff on the internet. Sharing photos, videos, and staus on social media platforms is not a good idea. Do not expect your information to be safe when you share it with all the users on the platform. This may lead to the stealing of your personal information from your account. Private texts must be shared only on selected platforms that offer strong encryption. No information such as pictures should be stored in your social media accounts even if the settings are in private mode.
Create a strong password
Creating a strong password is the most basic thing that one can do to keep their account safe. The stronger your password the fewer chances of you getting hacked. A hacker can crack a password that is made up of lower case letters and fewer words. In order to safeguard your account create a big password with special characters. Rather than creating a password that is eight letters create a sixteen letter password. Also, do not use the same password for every account you have, use different passwords for different accounts. It will be easier for the hacker to crack a password if he already knows the details related to you. Do not make passwords using your personal information like your name or date of birth.
Use fake responses for security-related questions
Usually, passwords can be reset by answering security related questions. Most of these questions are related to personal questions like which school did you study?. You may think this information is not something that hackers would be interested in but it is exactly the opposite. By knowing who you are and where you are from the hackers get some sense about where you operate from. So do not answer the questions with facts but give a fake answer in response. These security questions usually accept any answer you give them as the service provider does not know anything about you.
Enable two-step verification
Most of you may not know about this but some of the top websites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft offer its user a two-step verification option to log in to their accounts. Generally, people use one password to enter the website. When you enable the two-step verification process, you have to enter the password first and then wait for a verification code. A verification code is directly sent to your device by the authorized organization whose site you wish to enter. This verification code has to be entered to confirm it is indeed you who is trying to login. This may take a few seconds but it is totally worth the wait.
Do not link your social media accounts
If you have personal accounts on multiple social media platforms keep them different for each other. One should not use the same user name or password for two accounts on different social media platforms. The social networking sites encourage their users to link their accounts with their email but never do that. If your email gets hacked, the hacker gains access to all of your accounts on other platforms. Hackers use this information to exploit the victims in every way possible. Use different details for each account.
Common civilians need to be educated about internet safety and threats of a cyber attack. As you already know most of the websites nowadays ask you to sign up before you use them. By signing up you are sharing some of your personal information with that website. Companies assure their clients that they will keep their information confidential but no one actually knows if it is secure. The internet contains all the personal details of an individual starting from their name to bank account number to passwords. Individuals must make sure that this information is in the hands of an authorized organization. One has to be careful while sharing confidential information over the internet. You should stay away from sites that do not have an https extension. Following some simple precautions can prevent anyone from getting hacked