Seven ways to avoid being hacked

Here’s how to avoid losing your data to online criminals
1. Beware of public WiFi
There are simple ways to prevent data loss via public WiFi. Check it’s legitimate: It’s easy for hackers to set up a fake WiFi network that looks like an official one.
Before signing on to any WiFi, the best way to check if the network name is legitimate is by asking an employee of the place you’re in.
2. Forget the network
Once you have finished browsing on a WiFi, log off all services you were using and then ask the device to forget the network so it doesn’t automatically join next time you’re in range.
3. Turn off your WiFi
Make sure you disable WiFi when you’re not using it. This prevents your device joining any rough networks automatically without you noticing.
4. Use a VPN
VPNs act as an intermediary between your device and the internet server, routing all your activity through your own little loop of the internet that is encrypted, meaning a would-be intruder will find it impossible to sniff your information out or know what you’re doing, whether this is on a mobile, tablet or computer.
5. Look after your passwords
It’s good practice to change all passwords regularly and not use the same passwords across many different services. There are password managers available online that help manage them all.There are also services that support two-factor authentication, allowing you to add two levels of password protection on services such as Gmail, Twitter and Facebook.
6. Check the lock
You wouldn’t leave your front door open, so why leave yourself vulnerable online?
If a website is secure it displays the green lock sign by it. This is otherwise known as HTTPS, and it encrypts the data that passes from your device to the internet server, meaning any hackers can’t decipher your private information.
7. Apps can be dodgy
Always check permissions on the apps before installing and make sure they aren’t accessing unnecessary information. For example, a drawing app should not have access to your contacts list or your network info.

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