How to Avoid Getting Hacked

Today’s post is a public service announcement.

Too often we see spammers targeting people’s social networking and email accounts, and then using them to send out links to advertisements or viruses.  And while it’s almost impossible to completely prevent this, there are some pretty simple things you can do to help avoid having this happen to you.  You can also help your friends through this by paying attention, and communicating.

Here are some tips:

  • If you get an email from a friend that ONLY contains a link, don’t click on it!  Instead, email your friend back and ask if they intended to send it.  (I received an email just like this over the weekend.  And no, she didn’t intend to send it.)
  • If you get an email full of misspellings, don’t open it!  Often these emails are frauds.
  • Some bogus emails act like they’re from an official source: UPS, EBay, Facebook, etc.  Typically there’s an attachment you’re supposed to open in order to get the information you need to rectify the problem.  Don’t open it! Instead, navigate to the company’s website to see if the problem actually exists.  (Most likely it doesn’t.)
  • NEVER enter your login information into a third party site, unless you COMPLETELY trust that site.  For example, I will enter my login into HootSuite, because I trust the application, and it needs that info in order to work.  However another site might want my info in order to send information from my account.  That I won’t allow to happen, and would not enter my information there.
  • If funny postings from your account show up in your social networks, CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD IMMEDIATELY, and notify the site that your account has been hacked, so they can look into it.  Same thing with your email.  The first thing you should ALWAYS do is change your password.

So I am officially dubbing today “Change Your Password Day.”  Go into your social networks and email account(s) and change your password. And then do it monthly.  It’s a great way to protect yourself, and your friends!

What tips do you have that people can use to protect themselves?

Photo Credit: erix!

2 Responses to How to Avoid Getting Hacked
  1. Katie
    April 12, 2010 | 2:39 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing. Your posts are always very valuable and helpful!!
    🙂 Katie

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