Odds are that if you’re reading this, you, or someone you know has been a victim of a hack. According to some, we’re even living in the age of hacks.
But you don’t have to make it easy for cybercriminals — put up a fight! While it’s impossible to be completely unhackable, it’s easy to be practically unhackable. In fact — you can do it in less than five minutes. In that spirit, I bring you “The 5 Habits of Practically Unhackable People.”
These habits may take less than five minutes, but they can save you hours of headache (and possibly some money) down the line.
Think before you click.
Practically unhackable people aren’t click-zombies — they think before they click.
We click and tap hundreds of times a day. It’s such a muscle memory, that sometimes we click on things without properly looking at them. Because almost 95% of all hacks in 2013 were caused when users clicked bad links, one could easily argue that love of clicking is the root of all online evil.
Case in point: The largest high-profile leaks in recent memory all began with employees clicking on email links that were laced with malware. Test how well you think before you click with this phishing quiz from Intel Security.
Remember: the most powerful weapon against getting hacked is yourself. Think before you click. It’s as simple as that.
Use HTTPS where it matters.
Practically unhackable people use HTTPS when they enter personal info on the web.
Every web address starts with either HTTP:// or HTTPS://. The difference? HTTPS is more secure and actually loads faster too. Sites that begin with “https” instead of just “http” use encryption to protect the information you send. Look for this level of security on sites where you plan to enter login and other personal information.
HTTPS Everywhere is a free extension you can use to automatically make many websites communicate with HTTPS.
Don’t memorize passwords.
Practically unhackable people always use strong passwords — but they don’t always memorize them.
First of all, your password should be strong. If you don’t know what that means, take a look at this website.
Of course, while people know what makes a password strong, they don’t use them because they’re hard to remember. The trick is to not remember, or memorize them at all. You do this with something called a password manager: a program that creates, remembers, and enters your passwords for you. There are a number of these programs our there, and you should find one that works for you.
Of course, I’m biased, but I love True Key™ by Intel Security an easier and safer way to unlock your digital world. You can access your apps and websites without the hassle of having to remember, create or type in multiple passwords — with the True Key app, you are the password. It manages your passwords, and uses multi-factor authentication — an extra layer of security. More on that below.
Use 2FA all day,
Practically unhackable people know that a strong password is good, but two-factor authentication is better — and multi-factor authentication is best.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a special, one-time password that is texted, or generated from an app, usually on your phone. With 2FA, even when someone steals your password, they can’t access your account. 2FA is an extra layer of security that everyone should be using.
But don’t stop with two factors. Some services offer multi-factor authentication beyond 2FA. For example, Intel Security True Key offers up to five factors of authentication where you can pick and choose how secure (and how many hoops a hacker would need to jump through) you want your security. You can set it in a way that doesn’t get in your way, but still gives you simple, secure access to your online accounts.
Know when to VPN.
Practically unhackable people know that not everyone needs a virtual private network (VPN), but know when and why they should.
Here’s a scary secret of the Internet: for about $100, anyone with the know-how could buy equipment to see all your Wi-Fi traffic. Your passwords, credit card numbers, and even (gasp) your emoji’s! When you’re using an Internet connection abroad, in a hotel, or in a café, a VPN protects you from this by making a kind of secret encrypted tunnel for all of your Internet traffic.
Not everyone needs a VPN, but here are two common examples of when and why you should use one:
- Casual: Using free, public, unprotected (i.e. no password required) Wi-Fi in a hotel, café, airport, etc.
- Professional: Accessing a corporate network or server at your office while traveling abroad.
Interested? Here is a great guide to finding the VPN that’s right for you.
It’s impossible to be completely unhackable, but by making these five simple tasks habits when you go online will protect you from the most common sources of identity theft, cyber crime and malicious activities.
Don’t be a victim of the age of hacks — beat it with the 5 Habits of Practically Unhackable People.
Resolve to be practically unhackable by following Unhackable!