Monday, July 28, 2014

Prevent Yourself from Getting Hacked

By Laurie Epps

Welcome back. Today's blog is about preventing yourself from getting hacked. However, be aware that nothing is foolproof. But Edie's straight-forward approach makes it easy for us to follow, but also brings forth things that we might be taking for granted.

We're still working from her book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. A lot of this section seems to be common sense, but in the digital age, it's just too easy to click the wrong click.

Most of the time that we get hacked, we've clicked a link that uploaded a virus. The best defense we've got from this is simply to stop and think. I know it's compulsive to to click that link that says your best friend is talking about you, or that your dad had a long, and ongoing affair but these are simply ploys to bait you.

Courtesy of Edie Melson
Photo credit: Mary Denman
Edie's helpful tips:

  • Be wise, or stop and think. If they're going out of their way to give you a sense of urgency, then it's probably a trap.
  • Assume they're lying. There's a lot of countries out there that their sole economy is to commit fraud or scam U.S. citizens out of our hard earned money. Don't be fooled. Pay extra attention to emails that come from an unknown source.
  • NEVER, I mean NEVER give out sensitive information like your social security number, bank account information, or any of your passwords out for any reason. If they claim to be a company that you're currently working with, refuse it anyway, and call the company back directly. If they're who they claim to be, they won't mind you're conscientiousness.
  • A quick word about passwords: create a different password for every account. Now I know that you don't want to hear this, but it's really for your own protection. A helpful tip a friend gave me was to store all of your passwords as a word document on your computer in case you forget, you've got a running list. However, Edie recommends using a paid program to store all your dozens of passwords. Here's some possible links:
I know that some of you will be hard-core old school on this, and my dad uses a journal to keep track of his. That works for him, and you've got to do whatever works best for you.

Connect Activity:

Now would be a good time to get all your passwords in one place. Change some of them up while you're at it. You'll be glad you did.

For more information, see pages 115-116 of your text.

Next week, come back for: HELP! I've Been Hacked!

Can't get enough social media? Check out Edie's column called Social Media Mondays.

Laurie Epps is a recent graduate of Anderson University majoring in Creative Writing. Already Laurie is most published as a feature article writer, essayist, and poet. A seeker of beauty and world traveler, Laurie hopes to grow into a career in travel writing illuminating the many stories that make us human despite our differences. Currently, Laurie also has a Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.

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