Some Proven Security Tips If You Want To Be Hack-Free

Stan Ward

Stan Ward

October 26, 2015

If you’re reading this post, you are obviously security-conscious, having visited a VPN website. Good for you – I hope you choose well. But maybe you’re a regular reader of BestVPN news. No matter – what follows are some solid suggestions for staying secure. In this day and age, when hackers lurk in ready to abuse public WiFi spots and intrudein airports and hotels, you can never be too careful and on guard. Always remember that hackers are criminals- cyber criminals to be sure, but criminals none the less, and thus caution should be the byword.

It is not surprising that any list of Internet security would lead-off with having a VPN. It is simply an easy and affordable way to become virtually invisible and difficult to hack. For just a few bucks a month you can rest easier, especially if you are in a country that is hostile to Internet freedom and privacy because a VPN will mask your IP address. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) also serve many functions.

Hence, VPN is a very useful tool to protect against hacking because they make all web traffic end-to-end encrypted. That means that any data you enter while using a VPN is protected from external intrusion. VPNs are also great for surfing the web on public Wi-Fi networks because they ensure end-to-end encryption for all traffic. Thus, all the data transferred is protected. Check out the best VPN options from our comparison listing.

Another big mistake users make is linking their accounts. This presents an opportunity for hackers to gain access from a multitude of sources. For example, if someone gets your Twitter password and you have your company’s Twitter account also linked, then your company may also get hacked and vice-versa. And speaking of not making a hacker’s life easier, when posed with a security question, please, be creative. Answering a security question with something that can be easily discerned from readily available sources (think: Google search) – such as a mother’s maiden name is a gift for the criminals. By the way, can you imagine how ubiquitous dogs’ names Fido, Rex or King are?

And always us two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication requires people to use something else -usually a mobile phone to confirm who they are. This means that if hackers get your password, they won’t be able to get access to a two-factored account unless they also have access to whatever device the second factor is coming from. It’s an easy way to log in and one that makes you more secure. Also, always remember to give password creation a lot of thought and change it on occasion. You might think I’m kidding, but the most popular passwords are alarmingly simple – such as abc123, and the like. Use capitals, numbers and punctuation. Behave as if your accounts are under attack, because they are!

Last, but not least: back up your data locally, avoiding the cloud when you can, which has been proven to be hackable. But remember, these suggestions began with the VPN. Maybe you should, too.

Stan Ward

Stan Ward has enjoyed writing for 50 years. Writing has been a comfortable companion to a successful business and teaching career for him. Find him on Google+.

4 responses to “Some Proven Security Tips If You Want To Be Hack-Free

  1. When you say that VPN’s provide ‘end-to-end’ encryption, that is true only up to a point. Once your message is handed off from the exit server it is no longer encrypted and is subject to hacking. There is even software available that will trace you and give suggestions as to the best intercept point(s). Unless and until all web services begin providing true end to end encryption, right into the software that you are communicating with, then everything is potentially exposed.

    1. Hi William,

      It is true that traffic is not encrypted once it enters the open internet past the VPN server (Stan is not the most technically minded of our writers!) However, as the data appears to originate from the VPN server rather than the user’s true IP address, so this is not usually an issue. Any website that handles sensitive and personally identifiable information should use full end-to-end SSL/TLS (HTTPS) encryption, and you should never provide personal information (let alone bank details!) to website that does not (it is easy to tell, by looking for a little closed padlock sign next to websites URL in your browser window.)

  2. Enjoyed your article!
    So I need some advice……what to do to stay as secure as possible?
    ,,,Used complex passwords, change them every so often..
    …Use a VPN which one?…..see my situation below….(I am somewhat network and router knowledgeable, I know that is a relative statement!)
    …avoid Links?
    I am now retired so my use of emails and browsing may have increased?
    I have an iPhone, iPad, two desktops one using mainly OutLook. OS 10
    I have several email accounts; Goggle, Hover, Charter…but try to use Hover as much as possible now.
    WiFi and cable internet at home, and WiFi sparingly when out and about. I also occasionally use the cell phone data to access the internet when not near WiFi access, and sometime use my iPhone as a personal hotspot when in a maybe not so secure area.
    Will it be advantageous to use a router with VPN gateway software at home…I want to upgrade my router anyway!! ..but I do not need too many function, like parental controls, multiple users networks, etc.
    I live in a ‘rural area’ on a large Lake so I believe frequency congestion should be a not problem?

    An answers would be appreciated or maybe LINK to some source to help me decide on these about issues.

    1. Hi Jack,

      Please see our Ultimate Privacy Guide.

      1) A password manager is a good idea
      2) You should choose a provider that allows many simultaneous connections, so you can protect all of your devices (unless you go the VPN router route.)
      3) Why Hover? Something like ProtonMail or Tutanota would be much more secure.
      4) Using a router as a VPN gateway allows you to connect as many devices as you want through the router, including devices such as Smart TVs and games consoles that cannot normally be configured for VPN. The downside is that the processor in all but the most high-end routers can struggle to keep up with the demands of processing VPN, which usually results in a slower internet connection (even in high-end routers the processor will be nowhere near as powerful as that in your desktop PC.)
      5) Check out 5 Best VPNs for iOS. If using your phone as a hotspot, you will need to run a VPN client on connected devices if you wish them to be protected by VPN.
      6) Rural areas usually have inferior broadband infrastructure (and cell network coverage) to urban areas, and therefore have slower internet.

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