There are two main reasons for hacking personal accounts online, namely: software defects, or human error, and while you cannot do much about the weaknesses in the software you use, there is no doubt that changing your bad behavior and habits in dealing with your online accounts and your devices Electronic, well-secured, helps you reduce risks.
We have seen a lot of data breaches that occurred during 2020 for many VIPs due to negligence only, as the outgoing US President Trump’s account, whose password was his, was compromised until recently (maga2020!), And the sensitive Zoom call details were also revealed that It was carried out by (Boris Johnson), the Prime Minister in the United Kingdom, and there is no doubt that these world leaders have received security training from the protection agencies, but as a result of their mistake, these violations occurred.
The risks are just as real for the average person, if your accounts are not properly protected, your bank account or credit card may be hacked, or your private messages and photos were stolen and shared for all to see.
So it is better for you to take some safety steps to protect your accounts from hacking, and there is no better time to arrange your digital life than the start of the year, here are 5 things you need to do with your online accounts:
1- Make sure to activate the two-factor authentication feature on your accounts:
Arguably the most effective thing that you can do to protect your online accounts is to activate the 2FA feature because it is a step that greatly increases the costs of hackers trying to hack your accounts, which is why accounts that use any type of authentication have a lower penetration rate Many accounts rely on passwords only.
There is a directory for all accounts that support the authentication feature via this link, but in the first place, you must activate it for all accounts that contain personal information that can be misused, such as messaging applications (WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.), social networking applications, and e-mail accounts Your own.
But keep in mind that not all forms of two-factor authentication are equal, as security experts suggest that app-based authentication is better and safer than phone number-based authentication solutions, because hackers can easily forward SMS text messages or phone calls to another number via Tricking telecom customer support personnel to transfer phone numbers to another SIM card, attacks known as (SIM swap), or (SIM splitting), SMS messages and phone calls are designed without encryption, and hackers can easily intercept them.
There are many authentication applications that make this task easier for you, including (Microsoft Authenticator), (Google Authenticator), (Authy), and many others. These are apps that provide you with identification codes that are difficult for a hacker to access; Because it must actually reach your phone.
2- Use a password manager app:
Passwords relate to identity; You prove your identity to the site, service or application by logging in with the correct password, so if your password is weak, then anyone trying to access your data can easily guess it and can impersonate you. Therefore, using a strong and unique password for every website or service you use will reduce the likelihood that your accounts will be hacked.
But with the large number of services, sites and applications that we use daily, no one can remember all the passwords, so we need applications to manage passwords, and there are many of these applications that keep your payment information, and credit card data safe in the event of such leaks.
3- Learn how to spot a phishing attack:
Clicking quickly on anything that comes to you is your worst enemy, so when you get a new email or text message and include something clickable, don’t do it.
Phishing campaigns have increased in recent times due to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as hackers have used the epidemic as a cover to launch wave after wave of phishing attacks and scams on Google Drive.
And anyone can fall victim to these types of scams, and the main thing that must be done is to think before clicking, because these fraudulent messages work to deceive people into acting in an unusual way, as they pretend to make immediate demands from a certain party, and there are messages that say: “The urgent response Required, ”but all of that is deception, of course.
There is no specific method that helps identify every type of phishing or phishing. Hackers are constantly working to improve their tactics and methods, but threat awareness can help reduce its effectiveness. So be careful, think carefully before clicking anything, and only download files from people and sources you know and trust.
To verify that your email is not being used in these attacks and to learn what you can do to secure it, you can review the article: “Is someone using your email to send spam without your knowledge?”
4- Make sure to update everything:
Every part of the technologies you use; From the Facebook app installed in your phone to the operating system that controls the smart lamp, it is vulnerable to attack. So companies always look for errors that appear in their software and fix them. This is why it is so important to make sure that all of the technologies you use are updated to the latest version available.
Start with your phone; Go to Settings, find the version of the operating system it is running in, and update to the latest version of iOS 14 on an iPhone, or Android 11 on an Android phone.
As for the applications and games, they are automatically updated on the iPhone phones if you are using the iOS 13 or later version, and in the Android system, you can also run automatic updates through the Google Play Store, through these steps:
- Go to the Play Store on your phone.
- Click on the menu icon consisting of three lines in the upper left corner, you will see a menu of options.
- Tap on the Settings option.
- Click on the Auto-update apps option.
- A window will appear containing three options, select the second option, which is to allow an update when connected to a Wi-Fi network.
Once your phone is updated, you will need to select which devices you want to update next. generally; Any laptops or desktop computers that you own should be at the top of the list, then come gaming devices such as: PlayStation and Xbox, then other connected devices.
always remember; “Everything connected to the Internet is vulnerable to hacking at any time, so it must be updated continuously.”
5- Make sure to permanently dispose of old accounts:
Old online accounts and their login details could be used as weapons against you, if you didn’t do anything about it. Hackers often use details from past data breaches to gain access to accounts people are currently using.
Reducing the amount of information available about your life on the Internet can help reduce your risk of being hacked.
One very simple step is to delete your Google search history regularly, but you can also use Google’s alternatives that rely on privacy first.
Additionally, there is a lot that you can do to protect your accounts from being hacked. Find old accounts that you no longer use and delete them. This will reduce the amount of spam you receive and reduce the number of ways hackers can target you.
You can also use the (Have I been Pwned) service to check your data for old data breaches, be sure to use VPN services to protect your data and enhance your privacy while browsing, and download the Tor Browser if you really want to enhance your anonymity on the Internet.