Image by: geralt
By: Todd Downey
Hackers. People who manage to gain unauthorized data and digitally steal things from you, sometimes even leaving a nice, frothing virus as a parting gift—like a burglar relieving himself square in the middle of your living room before disappearing with all your precious valuables.
One can imagine how unbelievably annoying this can be, especially if your entire life resides on that MacBook of yours. It can be quite devastating, important documents, financial information, as well as your piece of mind can all be taken away in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, hacking attacks aren’t always able to be prevented, but there are ways to help prevent any unworthy eyes from gazing upon your deepest, darkest, most coveted files.
#1) Passwords & Security
Bad things happen when you use simple, easily guessable passwords. Yea, I know before you create a password websites sometimes give you clear instructions to make it as undetectable as possible, but is that even really enough? Your last name and birthday numbers will not suffice if you truly care about the information you have stored. It is estimated that 90% of all passwords can be cracked only within a few seconds. And unfortunately, most of the sob stories that are heard are the result of ‘easy to remember’ passwords. It may seem like a hassle having a password with most of the letters in the alphabet, but such a small effort certainly outweighs your account being hijacked. So go ahead and make it complicated and random, Have fun with it! Here are a few examples of good passwords.
Yea, they may be tough to remember, but I’d like to see a hacker guess one of those behemoths.
A feature that cloud offers that can help you out just in case a successful attacker does manage to figure out your impossible password is the two factor identification. Two factor identification isn’t too complicated, as it simply means logging in requires both username, password and a unique code sent to the users accessible device. It’s similar to Chase banks’ log in feature upon accessing your accounts from a new computer, in the sense that they both either send an SMS containing a code to your phone or an email. Yea this sounds like it can be quite a hassle to deal with every time you log into your cloud, but its a pretty effective bulwark if some geek happens to figure out your password.
This particular method involves, you guessed it–more passwords, particularly ones for services that offer encryption as a standard feature. And keep in mind these aren’t just passwords, these are really important passwords, because forgetting or losing one may mean losing access to data when its needed.
And if you’re curious to what exactly encryption is, its basically a software that will scramble information and make it unreadable to anybody without the password. You know what that means, right? The chances of getting your invaluable password stolen is that much slimmer! If you’re even more paranoid than me when it comes to losing data online, client-side encryption is probably the best route to take. That means paying for, and using third party software. Safety, doesn’t always come cheap, you know…
#3) Be Smart
Keep your Wi-Fi network locked down and not open and broadcasted for everybody in your apartment complex to use; utilize antivirus software to help prevent malware that can aid a person in being granted access to your account information; and don’t download strange, random files or entertain suspicious emails or websites unless you are %100 certain that they are safe.
Oh, and one more thing: in order to make sure you never lose any of your data due to storage outage, wiring problems, or your own incompetence, save your file to your documents folder and copy it to your storage drive. I’m no computer genius of course, just a guy with common sense who cares about your well being enough to provide a few suggestions…
Common sense goes a long way when solidifying the security of your personal files. When using shared networks, try not to send your most dire information across, or it may be intercepted and used against you. You want to avoid storing sensitive information on the cloud especially, that means you’re going to have to rely on your mother to keep track of that social security card number–either that or you can risk somebody stealing you’re identity and putting you thousands of dollars in debt.
The virtual world is a very dangerous place, and it is highly suggested that you proceed with that information in mind when considering storing any vital information on the cloud.
We aren’t trying to resurface any painful memories, but have you ever been the unfortunate victim of a relentless computer attack? What methods did you use to prevent it in the future? We’d love for you to share below! Your story may save another innocent computer user from suffering the same fate.