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How to deter hackers: Follow these digital safety best practices

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There is no hack-proof device. There is no single cure for the security challenges that trouble businesses, governments, and consumers. There are, however, best practices that can help you stay secure, deter hacking, and mitigate the damage if you are hacked.

First, identify your risk profile and potential threat actors. Perform a self-examination of your digital hygiene and enumerate your risk factors. Ask yourself:

  • Do you keep a low digital profile, or are you active on multiple social networks?
  • How many passwords do you use, and how easy are they to guess?
  • Do you share passwords with colleagues or family members?
  • What about your mobile and IoT devices: Are they locked down with updated firmware?

SEE: Infographic: Almost half of companies say cybersecurity readiness has improved in the past year (Tech Pro Research)

Next, follow this digital safety checklist:

  • Back up and encrypt your data regularly.
  • Update the software on your PC, mobile, and IoT devices.
  • Use long, diverse passwords.
  • Enable two-factor authentication on every site that offers the service (every site should offer 2FA).
  • Use a VPN, especially while traveling.
  • Do not click links in email, except from trusted sources.
  • Install and use Signal and Wire to encrypt mobile communication, and avoid Skype when possible.

Your goal is to make it harder to access your accounts and your devices. There are no guarantees of complete digital safety, but these tactics will deter many hackers.

What are your favorite security tactics? Share your tips and best practices in the comments below.

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