When the World Wide Web first came into existence in the 1990s, it opened new possibilities however, it also brought a new threat. Spam infiltrated emails and computer viruses wreaked destruction to corporate networks and hacking was a huge issue. Hackers could steal your personal data and even take over your online bank or credit account, and sell your personal information on the dark web for lots of money.

Your online life is more complex than ever. You’re using a smartphone, you shop online and bank online, you’re a user of Facebook as well as your connected home appliances and IoT devices are tracking and reporting on your activities. All of this information can be accessed by hackers, whether they’re part of an organized crime group or a lone individual with a political agenda.

Create strong passwords for all of your online accounts. Make use of a password manager to manage them. Consider activating two-step authentication. This provides an additional layer of security by asking you to enter a code that has been sent to your phone or email address in addition to entering your password each time you log into. Secure your hard drive to make it harder for hackers to access your private data even if they get control of your computer or mobile device. Also be sure to disable “run as administrator” on your computers, don’t root or jailbreak your phones, and shut down your computer instead of running all day (all-time running slows down your device’s performance and opens it up to cyberattacks). With the appropriate software tools to screen malware as well as uninstalling and encryption of data will reduce the risk of being a victim.

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