It is becoming common place to hear about hackers stealing data from big companies and websites, and it can be unnerving to hear about these data breaches. Hackers aren’t always after bigger targets though. There are tons of hackers out there looking for easy targets online and if you visit the wrong website or download the wrong thing, you might be next. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure you are protected from hackers when using your device online.
Short On Time? These VPNs Work Best To Protect You From Hackers
- ExpressVPN – No logs policy.
- NordVPN – Military grade encryption.
- Ivacy – Cheapest VPN option with military grade encryption.
Inside A Hacker’s Mind: Why Do They Want My Location?
One of the first things you need to understand about a hacker is how their minds work and their motivations.
A lot of people don’t understand all the things that can be done with little bits of data online, and this is where hackers thrive because they do understand what they can do with that data.
Location data can be used to figure out other parts of your identity or be used to try and extort something from you.
It is important to understand that your online identity is made up of a bunch of individual pieces like a puzzle and the more pieces someone has the more damage they can do.
Imagine that someone wants to get your personal information and all they have is your name and IP address.
From an IP address, a hacker can find out your country, city, zip code, and service provider. Once they get this information they can start to try and figure out your address a lot easier, and once someone gets that they can try to figure out the rest of your identity.
It’s a step-by-step process of information gathering, and each step allows that person deeper access to your identity.
Motivations of a hacker could be anything from money to trying to cause harm for fun, with money typically being the most common.
How Do Hackers Find Your Location?
The starting point for a hacker to figure out your location is your IP address.
Most people aren’t even aware that their IP address is visible to people online who know how to see it.
While your IP address doesn’t have big flashing letters that spell out your city, it is very easy to search an IP address and get the location information from it.
This is why it is so important to use a VPN to hide your IP address, and we always recommend the best VPNs to hide your IP address online.
Lets take a look at a few different ways hackers can get your IP address:
- Web server logs.
- Getting access to your Email.
- Through social media.
- Through messaging apps.
You may notice that these common ways people get IP addresses are also through things people use everyday.
The things we use everyday tend to be the things we let our guard down about.
Hackers know this and and they also know that if they want to, they can find someone to prey on through one of these options that is leaving themself volnurable.
As an example, you may receive a phishing email that you are not aware is malicious. If you simply click the link in the email, you may have just given someone access to your email.
It can happen in the blink of an eye and you wouldn’t even be aware of the situation, but someone now has secret access to your email and from there they can extract whatever information they want.
Ways To Protect Yourself From Hackers
It is undeniable that the best way to protect yourself from hackers online is to use a VPN to connect anonymously to the web, but there are still other useful things you can do.
Have you ever seen an email that claims you won the lottery, or maybe an email asks you to verify your login information for Netflix and it looks exactly like an email Netflix would send.
This is phishing in action and while some people see these emails as fraudulent right away, there are still a lot of people who don’t notice and will click the link.
Understand what phishing is so that you can protect yourself from it. Phishing is one of the easiest ways a hacker can get your information.
One of the best ways to be proactive about this is simply to read up on phishing so that you can avoid being caught by it.
How To Tell If Someone Is Spying On Your Phone
If you are concerned that someone may have hacked your phone and is spying on you, there are ways to find out.
These are some of the common ways to check if your phone is being spied on:
- Check your data to see if it is unexpectedly high.
- Watch for your phone to show signs of activity while in standby.
- If you see your phone restart unexpectedly.
- If you notice your battery draining faster then normal.
If you notice anything strange like this, you may want to run an antivirus program on your phone to check for a virus/malware.
On top of that it may be time to take your phone into a professional for them to see what exactly is going on.
If someone has remote access to your phone and your information has been compromised, the best thing to do is to use a different device and change all your account passwords as they most likely have been compromised as well.
How To Tell If Someone is Spying On Your Computer
Though smart phones are like little computers in the palm of our hands, the way they operate is different and there are different signs to watch for if your computer is being spied on.
Lets take a look at some of the most common signs that your computer is being spied on:
- Programs are crashing frequently.
- Webcam suddenly turns on.
- If you notice new programs installed on your computer.
- Computer is abnormally slow.
Always make sure you are using antivirus software to best protect your computer from hackers.
If you notice any of the above signs, scan your computer with antivirus software and follow it’s recommendations.
If your computer is showing signs of potentially being compromised, bring it in to a professional and have them do a check up on your system,
It can be scary and overwhelming to have to worry about all the potential ways hackers can attack you. The most important thing to remember is to always be aware of your security online.
When you notice strange things happening on your device, don’t dismiss it and make sure to bring your device to a professional.
On top of being aware, always make sure to have antivirus software installed and use a VPN before you connect to the web.
While we can’t prevent everything, if you are aware and using the right protective software, you will most likely be way to hard of a target for hackers and can enjoy using the worldwide web without worry.