Monday, February 4, 2019

7 Tips to Protect your Data from Hackers & Viruses

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Nowadays, you really can’t experience the Internet to the full without having a solid antivirus and anti-hacking program to back your sessions.

Recently, I bought a new Windows PC for my 18 year old daughter. And it wasn’t long before she complained of a bluescreen outbreak. As a data scientist over 10 years of on-field experience, my heart sunk upon hearing this. Because I knew that we had a virus lurking around our business. And this had happened despite the antivirus shields built into our home’s Optimum packages. Without wasting a breath, I immediately went about updating her system’s software defenses. But it was only then that I came to understand the full extent of the problem.

How Personal Experience Led to Penning a Virus Protection Blog
My daughter’s new computer, it turned out, was infected with a particularly troublesome form of ransomware. This is a type of virus that blocks the victim’s computer screen behind an encrypted screen. And the password is only transmitted when a ransom amount (demanded by the hacker) is transferred.
Only I didn’t let things get this far. And with on a few strokes of the keyboard, I managed to rescue the system from the attacker’s clutches.
But this experience did serve to provide a valuable lesson. Regarding the importance of always keeping a powerful antivirus application running in the background. So that any emerging threats may be instantly recognized and dealt with.

Lessons from the Workplace
In my workplaces, I regularly have to keep all my confidential data safe from prying eyes. Of both colleagues and expert hackers from the outside (who may want to do me, or my company, harm). Some of the methods that I use to achieve this are well-known. But with others, I tend to be a bit creative. These techniques are my ‘secrets’ if you will. And they provide me with a lot of space to experiment with and see which method fares out the best against which type of attack.
In the interests of spreading some public awareness regarding this issue, I’ve decided to list them here. These are (in no particular order of preference) as follows:

Using Multi-Character Password Encryptions
2.       Restricting Usage of Portable Storage Devices
3.       Keeping Default System Antivirus Programs Updated
4.       Always Sending Confidential Data over Protected Networks
5.       Wiping Account Credentials from Public Systems
6.       Using Encryption Software to Scramble Email Content
7.       Engaging in Personal Firewall Attacks (to test shields strength)
I’ve elaborated on a few of the important ones below.

Multi-Character Password Encryptions
Making passwords with a lot of different character strings is sure to protect your data from hackers and unauthorized access. The only flipside with this method is that many people tend to have a hard time remembering such complex passcodes. Fortunately, the internet today comes with many free applications that specialize in password protection and retention.
And a word of advice: never base your passwords around your date of births, home phone numbers, and addresses.
These tend to be some of the easiest kinds of codes to crack!

Restrict Portable Device Usage
Portable flash and USB drives are some of the most effective routes for virus delivery. And they are used for this very purpose by clever hackers and Trojan developers. So it is always best to never use someone else’s portable devices.

Keep System Antivirus Programs Updated
This is probably the best advice that any systems analyst can give. Because keeping your antivirus programs updated keeps you from the latest threats to emerge on the internet. Which, if you didn’t already know this, come by as a second-by-second occurrence.
Many Windows PCs come preinstalled with the Microsoft Security Essentials software suite. This is great for safeguarding your system against common and the simpler virus threats. But for the more aggressive kinds of malicious codes, you should really invest in a holistic security solution like Norton Antivirus or McAfee.

Engaging in Personal Firewall Attacks
This tip is more suited to the specialist I.T professionals out there. Because it requires them to bombard their developed security software with all manner of self-created threats. If you’re interested in learning more about this form of self-protection, consider downloading one of the helpful guides contained on the internet for the purpose. Personally, I’ve stored many of these resources through my Xfinity internet plans. And the wealth of security knowledge that I’ve gained from familiarizing myself with them has paid off in gold.


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