How to Be Safe From Hackers

The term "hacker" has changed over the years, but it is generally regarded as someone who is a major threat to your computer and security. Many hackers around the world do nothing but steal peoples' identities and information by hacking into their online networks and accounts. Your computer needs as much protection as your home does—maybe more. Most of the steps you can take to protect yourself from computer hackers are simple and are little more than common sense.

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Your computer is easier to break into than you might think.

Step

Install an anti-virus software program on your computer that includes a firewall. Use a program that you can regularly update through a subscription with the manufacturer.

Step

Input the strongest passwords you can think of on your online accounts, with a combination of letters and numbers. You obviously need to create passwords you can remember, but make them as complex as you can.

Step

Avoid using the same password on all your accounts. If someone breaks into one account, all of them will be vulnerable. Use a different password on each account if possible.

Step

Make your wireless network—if you have a wireless router—a secure one that requires a user name and password. When you create a network from your computer's "Networks" command, there will be an option for creating a secure network.

Step

Change your online passwords regularly, even if you just rotate a list of passwords with your multiple accounts. Changing them annually is a good maximum time frame.

Step

Close out of all your accounts every time you finish using them and avoid using the "Remember Me" option that automatically remembers the password, allowing anyone to log in from your computer at any time.