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Cyber-paranoia: How scared should you be of getting hacked?

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Lately, cybersecurity has been one of the most prominent topics in the media. We’re constantly hearing about new data breaches, where thousands of people are having their personal information compromised by hackers and other types of cybercriminals.

With that said, it’s no surprise that we all worry, from time to time, about having our computers and smart devices hacked.

However, while it’s not very likely to find yourself being hacked by a government agency looking to find out your deepest and darkest secrets, that’s no reason to assume that you couldn’t fall victim to a cyber attack or hacking.

In fact, it’s much safer to assume that you are going to be hacked. This way, you’ll be able to take to proper preventative measures to try and mitigate the risk.

Of course, there are dozens of factors that will determine how likely you are to be hacked. In the following article, we’re going to take a look at a few of those factors, which will help you determine your likeliness of being becoming another victim.

Learn more about the different ways you can be hacked and how you can prevent it from happening.

Are you using a VPN?

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are secure networks that allow people to access the internet safely and anonymously. They work by creating encrypted tunnels in which all the data being sent or received by your device must travel through before reaching its final destinations. This makes it so that hackers and other cybercriminals won’t be able to see any of your online activity.

And, even if they were able to get their hands on your data, they wouldn’t be able to decode or read any of it due to the encryption. But, if you’re not using a VPN, there’s a fairly good chance that you could fall victim to a hacker at some point in the future. You can learn more about some of the best VPNs on the market by clicking on this link or you can check these VPN reviews written by experts.

Are you running antivirus software?

Another extremely simple way to protect yourself from being hacked is by using antivirus software on your computers and devices. These applications work by scanning your systems to find any potential threats and eliminating them before they can do any serious damage.

Hackers and cybercriminals often try to catch unsuspecting victims by installing malware onto their computers. Then, once installed, the hacker has unprecedented access to the device and the network that it’s connected to.

So, since antivirus software is one of the best ways to protect you and your devices if you’re not running any, there’s a good chance you could be hacked quite easily.

Furthermore, it’s also important to make sure that you frequently run updates and patches on your software to make sure that they are up to date with the latest threats.

Your email history

According to most experts, it’s safe to assume that your email will be hacked or leaked at one point or another. This is because a large majority of our communications are now moving online, making it easier than ever for hackers to gain access to our private conversations.

With that said, it’s more important than ever that we become more cautious about the types of conversations we have via email.

Take, for example, the leaks that we witnessed during the 2016 presidential campaigns. These types of leaks go to show us that our private conversations won’t necessarily stay private.

Furthermore, if your email has been leaked in the past, you’re much likelier to be hacked again in the future. This is because the hacker likely obtained your email by hacking into a server owned by one of the companies or businesses that you deal with.

And, once they obtained their email list, they likely shared it, making your email visible to any other hackers or cybercriminals who found the list.

Your password strength

We’ve all heard that having a strong password is one of the best defences against hackers gaining access to our accounts. However, it’s not a secret that the vast majority of us still use simple and insecure passwords for our online accounts.

Experts estimate that as many as 60% of internet users reuse the same passwords for multiple accounts, making it easy for hackers to gain access to not only one, but all of the accounts that use that same password.

Learn more about creating strong passwords.

With that being said, today, hackers are getting to know us better than ever and are learning that our password choices are rather predictable. Furthermore, once a hacker gets their hands on our passwords, they can add them to password “dictionaries”, which can then be used again and again to crack passwords.

In other words, your password strength goes a long way in determining how likely you are to get hacked. And, if you’re not using a strong password, getting hacked is a very real possibility

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