Hackers Selling Databases: How You Can Stay Safe

Hackers Selling Databases
Hackers Selling Databases

It has been around for a while, but in the past year, we’ve seen a rise in the number of hackers selling massive databases online, exposing millions of people’s account information to those who buy them.

Hackers aren’t even always selling the records, either. Recently, some stolen databases have been posted for free. An example of this is what happened with the Wattpad publishing platform leak.

With all of this occurring, combined with the fact that cyber criminals regularly target individuals with ransomware and other viruses, hack into social media sites, and work their way into third-party apps, it’s more vital than ever to keep your information safe. Thankfully, there are some simple yet effective steps you can take to keep cyber criminals at bay.

Install Security Software

It’s necessary to protect yourself by installing quality security software onto your computers to stop hackers in their tracks. Choose comprehensive max security antivirus programs that cover your networks and data from a variety of threats, including not just viruses but also ransomware, spyware, and spam.

And you can use popular free malware  virus removal software can detect malicious files and software from computer systems. These tools can be used to protect your personal information and browse the Internet securely. Such an application may warn you if the server, network, or website is infected.

Search for products that prevent infections and remove all traces of them if ever found. Also, buy security software that protects your privacy when you’re browsing and buying online, that features custom scams, and that offers cover against phishing attacks.

Use Firewalls

You can further keep cybercriminals at bay by using a firewall. Most computers come with a firewall pre-installed on them, so you may not have to buy an external third-party product. However, do note that many firewalls aren’t activated automatically. As such, check the settings on your device to see if you need to switch the firewall on.

These barriers are helpful because they act as another line of defense against hackers. In particular, they work to stop criminals who try to use an internet connection to break into systems.

Make Passwords Your Friend

Proper passwords are another factor in staying safe digitally. Use quality codes in various spots, including to lock your modem to outsiders, and on your computers. Also, select hard-to-crack passwords for every account you log into online, both websites and apps, and for your security software programs.

It’s wise to use different codes in various spots. That way, if a hacker happens to buy or discover information that leads them to a password you’ve used once, this won’t also allow them to access all your other accounts. Use a password manager to keep track of all your different codes, so you don’t need to remember them all.

Keep in mind, too, that quality codes contain a mixture of numbers, letters (both upper-case and lower-case ones), and symbols. Create passwords that are eight or more characters in length, too, and update your codes every so often for added security.

Update Software Often

Always take note when a popup message or other indicator alerts you to new versions of software or firmware programs becoming available. Developers regularly find gaps in the security of their products that hackers might take advantage of, and create new releases to plug these holes. If you don’t install the latest offerings when they come out, this means you’re not as covered against threats as you could be.

To reduce the risk of attack, set up all updates to occur automatically, so you don’t have to remember to make changes manually. Update everything from security software and firewalls through to operating systems, browsers, apps, and games.

Be Smart in Your Online Choices

Be Smart in Your Online Choices

To reduce the likelihood that you get stung by a cybercriminal intrusion, practice safe online usage choices. Avoid using public Wi-Fi unless you can help it, as you don’t know who might gain access to your information via that internet connection. Don’t share too much information in public forums like social media sites, especially anything related to your birth date, maiden name, or any other details that factor into your passwords or additional login information.

Also, be wary about which emails you open and links you click. Don’t open things from people you don’t know or expect to hear from, and don’t click on links to take you to sites where you log in, such as your bank or utility accounts. Instead, type in web addresses directly, so you definitely end up on real sites, not fraudulent copy-cat ones.

Plus, when shopping online, ensure the cart you’re looking at is secure. Only buy from legitimate sites that have been around for a while and seem trustworthy due to things like reviews and testimonials, proper SSL certificates, detailed contact information, etc.

The risk of a hacker attack is sadly very real and higher than it was years ago. However, as long as you take steps to protect your information and understand common threats, you should stay safe.

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