Protect Yourself from Getting Hacked

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Have you ever been hacked? Are you sure you haven’t been? I was once, through my own stupidity. It’s easy to have it happen to you. Fortunately, it’s honestly easy to keep from getting hacked, as well.

  • Do not give out your IP address. This is one of the most important things to remember if you don’t want to get hacked. If you give out your IP to someone you don’t know, they can see files on your computer that you might not want to be seen by other people. Also, they could crash your computer. Just remember: don’t give it out to ANYONE.
  • Don’t download any program if you don’t know what it is. If it says “free computer virus scan” and it looks fake… it probably is. The reason is that some people put key loggers in those programs so they can store everything you type. If you type in your email address and password, they can see that data and use it to get in to your email. Remember, if you don’t want to get hacked… don’t download anything that you don’t know what it is or what it does.
  • Secure your Wifi network if you have one. Today, most houses have Wifi, and probably about half of them are unsecured. I went driving around in my neighborhood and found 32 wifi networks. Only ten of them had a secure network. If you have an unsecured network, people who have access to your network can hack in to your computer. They could gain control over your computer if they know what they’re doing. Use a hard-to-guess password that contains a mixture of numbers and letters, and change it frequently.
  • Make sure you log off of any account you have on your computer before walking away. This applies to shared computers. If you have company over and you let them use your computer, they could gain access to your passwords or personal information if you don’t log out of them. Also, if you are on a shared computer, never take advantage of websites that offer “saved login information”.
  • Keep a secure password for everything you have. Make a password that is long and hard-to-guess. Even people you know could hack in to any account you have, such as your Paypal. If they have your Email and they know you real well they might have a chance on guessing your password.

I also wanted to point you towards the blog post Kat wrote recently with her take on staying safe from Hackers.

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40 thoughts on “Protect Yourself from Getting Hacked”

  1. Any system is vulnerable be it windows, mac or linux. You make it sound like if you are no a mac you can pretty much go anywhere on the net and leave your computer wide open without worrying. Play smart and don’t take any chances.

  2. follow the tips whether you use windows or mac… or linux… sorry, I forget about that one all the time.
    Anyway, why trust your security to “some software” when you can do a better job yourself by not doing stupid stuff on the internet.

  3. i’m sorry to say, but this blog entry was just a waste of time. i would like to see more thought out content. all of above points are either plain common sense or just wrong. and to make things worse, it is also implying the old hacker misconception.
    cheers,
    stefano.

  4. Re: Stefano: Well, some people are new to computers and dont know the stuff to do. Like the Wi-Fi people barely know how to turn on the router let alone secure it. And some of the 12 year-olds go and download free screensavers all the time. This is a great entry.

    Cheers,
    Google

  5. okay i’m going to try to clarify it a bit here,
    this is going to be a long one.
    my originial post actually was a somewhat influenced by emotion, i can’t stand the agrument that hackers are the bad guys who want your money and you can protect yourselve from them in this or that way. the real story is this, hackers are there for our good, i myself would call me a hacker, i do penetration tests on systems and i secure them afterwards. this is what hackers do. the people who want to rip you off, infect your windows computer with malware and all that, they’re just scam artists. thiefs, if you will.
    as for the tips being common sense, i still think so, but as KrnSidez said, some people might not know, fair enough.
    here’s an idea on how to fix this,
    what about a video or a blog post on what hackers are?
    this is what i tell people who want to know what hackers are:
    hackers are people who are enthusiastic about using computers and electronics to get a certain result – as in creative usage of technology. furthermore, hackers generally use technology in ways they are not neccesarily supposed to be used.
    some people might argue that there’s this white-, grey- and blackhat theme to be applied to various types of hackers, but i’ll just stick with calling those who use technology for ripping off people criminals, plain and simple.
    something else i want to throw in here is, that most of the people the general public considers hackers in the worst meaning of the word don’t really do a lot of creative work in order to pull off their cons. for instance, i would not consider someone a hacker who downloads a copy of cain and abel, lets it run over the network and impresses his friends by telling them their passwords (but is this such a bad thing after all?), but someone who builds a quadrocopter-drone that flies without human control and takes pictures of areas programmed into it which it finds with gps, that person is clearly a hacker. but all that is not the normal scenario, so i’ll give another example that some people might be able to relate to. a person aquires acces to a corporate network by using security flaws, does a portscan, finds a box with some software that is exploitable and places a file on it. that is a good thing isnt it. the sysadmin finds the file and secures this particular box.

    so please,
    in the future, let’s all use the term hacker in a reasonable fashion, and thereby pay some respect to the people who make our bank transfers secure, keep our firewalls safe and program our encryption software.
    we owe them, big time.

    hope i have brougt some sense into my angry rant over there,
    cheers,
    stefano.

  6. Hey Chris why don’t you put some of the videos on dvds, I know one youtube user JamesNintendoNerd who released a DVD just a few months ago and to anyone else he really funny so check out his channel.

  7. Use a good firewall for ur pc. this will protect by blocking unwanted programs from opening ports.

    Of you have a router (wireless), use private ip addresses and block ports that are not required and use 128 bit encryption.

    For Uber-security use finger print scanner 😀

  8. RE AreaSecure:
    Actually fingerprint scanners are fairly easy to trick.

    this video shows how it can be done, really easy. sorry it’s in german, but you’ll get it anyways.

  9. I agree 100% with this post, expecially with company using your computer. I think somethings need to stay hidden and that includes your ip address. Now one thing most people don’t realize is that your ip address is sometimes posted with blogs, guestbooks, infact it can be posted anywhere. Probobly most of our ip addresses are already all over the internet and we don’t even know 🙂

    BradleyBradwell

  10. also you should have your PC connected to a router and have a firewall so not only will your IP address be protected from ports being access because the router wont know where to router the port access to unless you have yur ports forwarded to your PC like being directly connected to the Internet but the firewall will also protect it, so you will have two levels of security.

  11. also you should have your PC connected to a router and have a firewall so not only will your IP address be protected from ports being access because the router wont know where to router the port access to unless you have yur ports forwarded to your PC like being directly connected to the Internet but the firewall will also protect it, so you will have two levels of security.

  12. Well, I used to have a separate router then the one provided by the company who provides our internet service. I had it fully encrypted and loved it. However when my roommate left he took his after market router with him. So I was forced to use the standard Speedstream router provided. Hmm, where do I start. Well, with an encrypted signal it was only usable at about 3 yards. The signal is weak and couldn’t perform through the encryption unless in very close range. Basically, I had to turn the encryption off just to use the wireless unless I was close and then of course you want to be hard wired in to provide higher speeds so that is kind of pointless. Even without encryption the range is about 10 meters or less, and that is one a brand new laptop. So I am positive no one without signal boosters could access it. However it still worries me as I feel that security is one of the most important things in the IT world.

    The funny part is that the provider knows this and if you call they will suggest that you turn off the encryption. My response was they needed to provide a better router. I have had three replacements so its the model. I made a recording of the conversation so when my wireless is hacked I will have a leg to stand on, holding them liable.

    I find it strange that the “Tech Support” for such a service is suggesting such a dangerous operation.

    I am no PRO but I am no laimen either. I had no problems with my encryption till I went back to the standard router from the provider.

  13. Oh and having different passwords and names is a great idea, except for the fact that most of those can be changed or accessed with an email. Often hackers only need to get your email password and they will have all they need to get anything else.

    I used to play Warcraft and I knew like 30 that got hacked, the first thing I had thought is they gave some one their email address and that person had enough data to find the password and request the change of password for Wow, thus having access to your information. Wow made a mistake when they fused it with their Blizzard Gamenet site. Because the game log in became your email address the hacker would have the address then just to determine the password. Those without security could have a key logger in their system and quickly have all their internet accessible information compromised.

  14. My system has been hacked by some one.
    How can i know the ip address of the hacked person?

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