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Because prevention is better than cure, cybersecurity experts at Kaspersky offer seven valuable tips to avoid falling victim to hacking. In the connected digital age, hacking attempts have become common, and it may only be a matter of time before you are targeted. With the evolution of cybercrime methods, you may find yourself interacting with them unintentionally or clicking on fraudulent links without caution.

7 tips from Kaspersky to help you protect against hacking

7 basic tips to protect your devices from hacking 

Put yourself in the hacker's shoes:

If you visit a suspicious website or talk on the phone with an untrusted party, you should remember any information you may have entered or shared. Did the data you shared include your address and name, phone number, or credit card number? Perhaps it was a password or a two-factor authentication code sent to you via text message. If the information you shared is limited, such as name, address, and phone number, there may be no need for further action.

However, if you shared sensitive information such as passwords or images of personal documents or financial data, the situation could worsen. In this case, Kaspersky experts recommend taking the following steps.

Do not give out your information easily:

If you feel doubt or suspicion when directed to a website after clicking on a link or requested personal data such as name, email, phone number, or credit card information, you should immediately close the website and refrain from sharing any information.

If you're in a phone call and feel that things are going strangely, it's advisable to end the call immediately and not respond if the person calls back. Similarly, if you're participating in an online meeting via a video calling application and feel uneasy, you should end the meeting and close the application immediately.

Don't ignore warning signs:

  1. Pay attention to any unusual changes in your device's behavior, such as slow performance or strange error messages.
  2. Check for any suspicious activity in your accounts, such as unauthorized purchases or unexpected emails.
  3. Be wary of links and attachments found in emails, text messages, or on social media.

Change your passwords:

You should regularly change the passwords for all your accounts. In case of a hacking attempt on any of your applications, you should immediately log into the affected account and change the password immediately.

If your device has been hacked and disconnected from the internet, it is preferable to use another device instead of reconnecting the suspected compromised device. When attempting to access any services, it is preferable to manually enter the website address instead of clicking on the links provided in emails.
  1. Change your passwords immediately if you think your device has been compromised.
  2. Use strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts.
  3. Don't use the same password for more than one account.

Disconnect your device from the Internet:

This step is necessary when installing applications at the request of another person, or in case of remote manipulation of your device, as this can lead to your device being compromised by malware. To prevent cyber attackers from accessing your device remotely, it is advisable to disconnect your device from the internet by turning off Wi-Fi or mobile data, or by unplugging the Ethernet cable from your computer.
  1. If you notice any suspicious activity, disconnect your device from the internet immediately.
  2. This will prevent cybercriminals from accessing your device and data.

Contact your bank or financial service provider:

If hackers gain access to your bank card numbers or any other financial information, it is essential to contact the bank immediately. Typically, you can block the cards through a dedicated hotline, mobile app, or your online account.

As for other types of data, such as your banking account details, Kaspersky experts recommend consulting with banking professionals regarding the security measures to be taken.

Update your antivirus and security audit software for your device:

If you've disconnected your device - whether it's a computer or a smartphone - from the internet due to hacking concerns, it's essential to thoroughly inspect the device for any malware or unsafe applications before reconnecting to the network. If you have comprehensive security software like Kaspersky Premium, make sure to update its database and activate all protection and scanning features. Conduct a deep system scan using the scan settings application that includes detecting malware as well as any potentially dangerous software like remote access tools.

If your device is unprotected or if the protection database is outdated, use another device to download the security software from the manufacturer's website directly. Then, you can transfer the installation files using a portable storage medium such as a USB or SD card.

Check for any suspicious activity:

After taking the above steps, make sure there are no breaches in vulnerable accounts. If the accounts are related to online shopping or banking services, review the recent purchase history. If you notice any unusual purchases, try to cancel them by contacting the store or the bank.

Also, check recent posts, new friends, and images posted on your social media accounts. Verify the content of recent conversations in messaging apps to ensure that no fraudulent messages are being sent from your account.

In addition to these tips, here are some precautionary measures you can take in advance:
  1. Use unique, hard-to-guess passwords, and enable two-factor authentication for each account. Kaspersky Password Manager, which has a built-in authentication tool, can help you create and store unique new passwords securely, as well as authentication tokens.
  2. Install a comprehensive security system on all the smart devices you use, as this will help prevent most phishing attempts, unauthorized access, and hacking. It will also detect viruses and malware and clean up the computer if it is already infected.
  3.  Be careful when using the Internet: 
  • Do not open links or attachments from untrusted sources.
  • Do not share your personal information with anyone you do not know.
  • Be careful when using public Wi-Fi networks.
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