How to prevent hacking (an ultimate guide with a list of 35 effective ways)

Samuel Walker Last updated: November 2, 2022 Read time: 21 minutes Disclosure

Securing your devices and accounts do not only require using passwords or antiviruses. You need to take several precautionary steps and adopt the best security practices to avoid getting hacked today.

Sneak peek at preventing hacking

Hacking is the fastest-growing cybercrime that can compromise your online security and privacy within a few moments. Hackers can readily exploit the weaknesses in the devices or networks’ security systems to access confidential data, which can be misused in multiple ways. Hence, it is crucial to use the basic cybersecurity guidelines to avoid unauthorized intrusion into your device. Here, we have listed the best possible ways to prevent hacking and enhance overall internet privacy and security.

Privacy and security should be a priority, especially in our digitally inclined world.

Many people think that having strong passwords or using an antivirus is enough to prevent hacking. However, there’s a lot more that you need to do and practice to protect your accounts and devices from hackers today.

The University of Maryland conducted a study in 2007 where it concluded that hackers attack every 39 seconds. That was back in 2007; just imagine how fast hackers’ operations might have gone by now.

If hacking happens that frequently, how can you keep yourself safe online? Luckily, that does not require a fortune.

All you need is to take little steps and ultimately be thoughtful about your internet security. We list 35 effective ways to keep hackers at bay. Let’s dive in.

The quick checklist to minimize the risk of getting hacked

  • Update frequently: Regularly update your device’s OS and applications. These updates usually ship with fixes to bugs and vulnerabilities. Therefore you must be running the latest firmware and app version.
  • Password strengthening: Don’t reuse the same password across your logins. If a hacker manages to access your password, it can unlock your other accounts. Also, use a password manager and change passwords many times a year. Lastly, make use of a 2-factor authentication system for your logins.
  • Download safely: Only download applications from your OS’s official marketplace if possible. Official app vendors scan the apps it allows on its platform, making it safer for users. However, if you need to download app files and side-load them to your device, ensure that the website you’re downloading from is reputable and safe.
  • Admin accounts protection: Don’t use your admin account if you’re doing usual tasks and installing programs on your computer. The admin account has the highest privilege and control of your computer, making it vulnerable. If you use your computer as an administrator and a hacker has broken in, it can control and exploit more data than when it’s only a regular user account.
  • Turn-off when not in use: Turn off or close the devices and accounts that you’re not using. For instance, make sure to power off the computer or your WiFi when not in use. You should also log out from your accounts after using them. Similarly, turn off sensors on your devices such as Bluetooth, NFC, and Hotspots to reduce the probability of being hacked.
  • Encrypt your devices and internet data: Try encrypting files in your devices and cloud storage using a VPN to mask your internet traffic. Also, encrypt your emails and conversations using secure messaging apps such as Telegram or Signal. Moreover, use programs to secure your computer’s storage devices and set passcode protection for your mobile phones.

What is hacking?

Before moving on to the tips for preventing hacking attempts, let’s first understand the phenomenon.

Simply put, hacking is the unauthorized attempt to gain access to a target device, such as a computer, mobile phone, server, or any other digital asset. Often (if not always), the threat actors executing hacking attempts have malicious intentions.

In most cases, the aim is to access and steal sensitive personal or financial information, which the hackers then sell to other criminals, blackmail victims to pay money, or execute any other intended purposes. (Some hacking attacks may happen just for “fun,” but that’s rare and not funny.)

However, when it comes to hacking businesses, things become even more critical since such security breaches compromise the credibility and integrity of the victim firm. Besides inflicting financial losses, such hacking attacks directly compromise the sensitive data of the users/customers, thus having a vast radius of impact.

What are the different types of hacking?

As explained, there can be tons of reasons behind hacking attacks. That’s why hacking can happen through different means. In short, it won’t be wrong to say that simply connecting to the internet exposes your device to hacking. But it doesn’t mean you should stop going online (no one can afford it in today’s digital world). Instead, you need to know and identify those entry points through which hackers can access you.

The most common hacking attempts against common internet users happen in these ways.

  • Social engineering: The hacker tricks the victim into sharing personal or financial data by impersonating a trusted source on social media. For example, the hacker may connect with you mimicking your Facebook friend.
  • Phishing: Phishing attacks are also social engineering, but these attacks usually happen via emails, SMS, or voice calls.
  • Brute force: The hackers try to break into the target account(s) by guessing passwords. Accounts with simple (weak) passwords are more vulnerable to brute force hacking than the ones with strong and complex passwords.

35 ways to prevent hacking

Below you go with easy and effective ways to keep hackers at bay:

Start with protecting your devices and data

Start with protecting your devices and data
(123RF)