slider Technology — 19 November 2014

People get hacked every day.  So here are some tips to avoiding being a victim.  Please share this link with your family and friends and especially your aged parents.  We are writing this as simple as possible, avoiding any technical terms.

Look at the Twitter page below.  See where it is green.  That is because this page is and not, notice the “s.”  This means that page is encrypted.  That means a hacker cannot read the data that you type into there.  Remember that as you read the next rules.


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(1) People are sending out fake emails that look like they come from your bank, CNN, or someone you know.  These emails contain links to hacker web sites.  This is called phishing. It is important to look at a link before you click on it.  Look at this screen below.  OK, this is in Spanish, but you get the idea.  When you put your mouse on top of the link, wait a second.  It will tell you where this is really taking you.  A criminal could write “Greenville News,” but when you click on it, it takes you to someplace else. This is harder to check on a cell phone or tablet, because there is no mouse.


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(2) Never, ever enter your userid and password into a website that you do not know.  Never ever user your email userid and password anywhere except your email.  Use a different password for other web sites. You should never enter any private data at all into a web site that does not have that green icon showing it is encrypted.  A criminal cannot pretend to be your bank, because the browser will put up a warning message.  Do not proceed if there is a warning message.


(3) Make sure have put your cell phone number and a second email on your email account.  That way you can get your account back if someone hacks it.  Use a family or friend’s email for the recovery email account. If a hacker gets your email password, they can probably login to your bank, because people tend to use the same password for different sites.


(4) Do not install any software.  Period.  You do not need anything except Microsoft Office and a browser on your PC.  Everything else is on the internet.  You do not know what software is hacker software, so do not install anything.


(5) On your tablet and cell phone, apps like Twitter and Chrome will ask for your location and access to your contacts.  That is bad, but unavoidable.  But do not allow games and other software that is not widely used to do that.  Also watch out for apps that are using the logo of well-known apps.  Hackers put fake copies of apps on Android and the iPhone and ask you to install that. When you install an app it will tell you how many people have installed it.  It should be millions and not dozens.


(6) Your computer is probably already hacked and you do not know that.  The only way to fix that is buy another unless you know how to erase it.  So follow the rules above and avoid this problem.  Criminals could be using your computer right now to attacks banks, governments, and companies and you will never know that unless you are an expert.


(7) Do not use words in English or any other language as a password.  It is better just use something letters like XXSDEFFFF.   People can use the dictionary to uncover your password if you use words. Your password should be long, like 8 characters or more.


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