Password is the basis for everything
First of all, don’t write passwords on sticky notes or stick them to your office monitor. This is a very bad idea. Now let’s move on to the tips.
1. Use a strong password
It is best to use generators for generating passwords. They will help you create a complex and reliable password, which can take years to crack using brute force (brute force).
Also try to use different passwords for different sites. If one service is hacked or leaked, then access to other services will not be affected.
2. Install a password manager for storage
If you followed the recommendations from the previous paragraph, then you should get a lot of complex and long passwords. It is simply impossible to remember and constantly keep in mind. Therefore, you need to use a password manager, such as KeePass, to store them.
Never store passwords in text files on your desktop, and even more so in online documents (Google, Yandex, VK and others). Even if a hacker gains access to your device, he will face the problem of how to get these passwords from the manager. If you don’t use a password manager, the cracker can easily access all of your services.
3. Use two-factor authentication wherever possible
If you do not use two-factor authentication, then, having received your password, an attacker will be able to access your account on a social network, mail, or any other web service.
In addition, services with the possibility of two-factor authentication (Google, Microsoft, Vkontakte and others) also provide backup confirmation codes that must be printed and stored in a safe place. It is better to take care of this in advance, as the loss of the device may also result in the loss of access to the account.
Windows won’t protect itself
We sorted out the passwords. Now let’s look at how to protect yourself and your Windows computer.
1. Use a licensed version of Windows
Pirated Windows repacks or illegal license activators often have malware embedded in them. Also, a licensed version of Windows is required to fully receive the latest system security updates.
2. Turn on automatic system update and update the software regularly
New vulnerabilities are constantly found in the OS, so updates are necessary. Mass infections by the WannaCry ransomware occurred precisely because the systems were not updated, although the necessary updates were released a couple of months before the attack.
3. Do not work under an administrator account
If you “pick up” the virus from under the administrator, then he will be able to instantly gain access to the entire system. We recommend enabling User Account Control at level 3 or higher (“always notify”)
If you are using a Microsoft account to log in, then you must definitely protect it with two-factor authentication.
4. Set up your screen lock
In Windows 10, you can additionally configure PIN sign-in. This is a faster and more secure way to authenticate.
5. Install and enable antivirus
You can use the built-in Windows Defender antivirus. It protects against most threats. There are free versions from Avast, Kaspersky and many others.
6. Turn on and configure the firewall
It is recommended to deny all incoming connections by default. It may break some programs. In this case, you need to fine-tune the firewall and add exclusion rules, but it is not recommended to completely disable the firewall.
Instead of the built-in Windows firewall, you can also use third-party solutions, for example from Avast or Kaspersky. They are usually paid, but more convenient to set up.
7. Download programs on the official sites
Do not download programs from “warez” sites and file hosting. No one guarantees that distributions downloaded from such resources will not contain malware. The rule also applies to torrent trackers.
8. Make backups
For example, you can configure automatic copying of data from one hard drive to another. This will protect the data in the event of media failure. It is even better to store a copy of the data on an external drive – this will also protect information from ransomware viruses. The main thing is that the backup media is not constantly connected to the system.
Protected your computer – protect your smartphone
Android smartphones are also susceptible to hacks. Now we will tell you how to secure them.
1. Turn on screen lock
Also note that the phone is automatically locked after a certain period of time.
2. Set passwords for applications
Try to protect as many programs as possible in this way.
3. Configure Find My Device function
In case you lost your smartphone, or it fell into the hands of intruders, you can use this service. To do this, you need to know the password for the Google account that you signed in to through your phone.
4. Install applications only from Google Play
Installing programs from unverified sources increases the chances of catching a virus. Also, always pay attention to the permissions the app requires during installation. If it’s an alarm clock, it doesn’t need permission to read or send your messages, it’s most likely a virus.
In recent versions of Android, you can enable or disable various permissions for installed apps.
5. Clean your apps’ photo and audio cache regularly
For example, Telegram saves all your audio messages, photos and other content in a separate folder on the device. If an intruder gains access to the device, he can find a lot of your data in such folders. Clearing the cache is disabled by default in Telegram for Android. But you can turn it on yourself and adjust the cleaning time convenient for you.
6. Encrypt your data on your phone
To do this, you need to go to “Settings” → “Security” → “Encrypt phone”. Additionally, you should enable the “Encrypt SD card” checkbox. It will also help you when you lose your device, or fall into the wrong hands. However, it is worth paying attention to the side effects: you will not be able to use the alarm when the phone is turned off, you will have to set a new screen lock password. You will also need to enter your password every time you restart your phone.
7. Monitor your Wi-Fi connections
Android smartphones by default try to join wireless networks to which you have connected at least once. It may well turn out that instead of the familiar open access point, it turns out to be a malicious point (Fake AP). There are also special programs and devices that allow you to find out the name of the points to which you connected earlier, and study your movement around the city, create Fake APs, and more. Therefore, you should avoid public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Share your own security life hacks in the comments. If you use a smartphone or computer with other operating systems – also write to us. We will definitely consider and talk about them in the following materials.