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Jamie Durham
IT Correspondent
5:53 PM 12th April 2019

The 3 Easiest Ways To Be Hacked

It’s easy to think you’re being safe in the online world and that you will never be hacked, but consistent vigilance is important for ensuring you don’t become the victim of a cyberattack. In his next instalment, Jamie Durham highlights the three simplest ways criminals can get hold of your data…

WiFi

Wireless internet connection in shared spaces can be lethal. Connecting to WiFi on the train, in your favourite coffee shop, in a bar – or anywhere for that matter – leaves you extremely vulnerable to an attack. This is because they can be non-segregated and have poor security standards, which means that all of your data can be accessed by anyone else who is also connected.

A hacker has the ability to position themselves between you and the connection point, so instead of interacting directly with the hotspot, every piece of information you send out is acquired by them. And, while you may think you’re not checking anything personal – like your emails or logging into your bank account – bear in mind that anything you do on public WiFi isn’t secure.

Purchasing data for your phone isn’t expensive nowadays, so if you’re worried about using it all up while out and about you can easily buy some more – after all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Online shopping

An increasingly popular trend in busy day-to-day life, online shopping – a quick, effortless way to purchase something we need. Almost every digital retailer will give you the option to create an account, and the majority of us do this to save time when you next shop with them. But if you can check out as a guest, you should, because it will keep your personal data from being stored the company’s servers – meaning you’re safe if the business itself is ever hacked.

Because time is always of the essence, we are also guilty of saving our debit or credit card details for next time, which speeds up the transaction, if we ever buy from the site again – but I would recommend always using PayPal.

SSL

SSL is the standard security technology which keeps an internet connection secure. It does this by encrypting the link between a web server and a browser – in other words, it provides a secure channel for two machines or devices to interact.

An easy way of checking whether the online shop is SSL protected, is to check the HTTPS web address. The ‘S’ at the end stand for ‘secure’, so if it’s missing – and it’s simply HTTP – this means any information you share isn’t protected.

So, when you’re next surfing the internet it’s crucial to remember these simple tactics, in order to keep your data safe in the digital environment – and ensure you don’t become a victim of cybercrime.