How not to get hacked! How secure are your accounts?

I’ve just spent the past few days changing all my settings on Facebook and my e.mail addresses as someone is trying to gain access to my Facebook account. This idiot I think has even managed to log in at one point as I got a text saying “iPad logged into your Facebook account at… bla bla..” the thing, is no one in my  household has an iPad so I  have no clue to what is really going on… 

I don’t share my password with anyone and have not used any public computers. The thought of someone being in my Facebook is really pissing off to say the least. Eventually I thought I better just change my settings, password and update e.mail addresses too. Better to be safe than sorry. 

With Facebook stepping up on security and privacy settings we are all still vulnerable to being hacked. Whether that may be on Facebook or our e.mails etc.  I have decided to compile a list of things that I think everyone should know about protecting themselves from hackers.

  • Keep your social networks (i.e facebook, google+ etc.) e.mail addresses private, that means don’t share them with anyone or display them on your profiles.  The most common way your accounts are hacked is through your e.mail addresses. I will tell you in a bit how to protect them too. 
  • For chatting, for instance on yahoo and msn, use separate e.mail addresses. As these are more public and you are more likely to share them out more. 
  • As we move more and more towards paper statements, internet banking and paying bills on-line and buying on-line our details are more likely to be in our e.mails. For your private affairs like banking, bills, accounts, credit cards and other private financial matters use a separate e.mail account. Don’t share these with anyone else. 

Okay, the reason why I’m advising on separate e.mail accounts for your most personal things is because even if they are hacked at least you wont have all your eggs in one basket. So if you keep things separate you are more likely to have some damage control in the worst case scenario. 

Now let’s move on to passwords. I am the type that uses the same password for everything as I find it hard to remember different ones. While it seems the best thing to do, it really is a big risk. An easy way to get hacked is to give a site your e-mail address and then use the same password at that site. The same goes if you use the same user name and password at two or more sites. If the site does not encrypt the password, then there is a huge problem. Anyone who works for the site and has access to this information (or gains it) now has everything they need to log-in to your account. While most sites protect passwords, there are still ways for employees to get it. Attacks from within a company are actually the most common. At the least, use a different password for your e-mail account than everything else.

Your password must always include numbers and letters of no sequence.. like 123456.. always jumble them up… I find it easy to use a word and then add numbers .. here is an example… 

princess…  1020princess2010… 

now the numbers can be the last four digits of a mobile number or a date that you will remember always… or you can put numbers in the word.. whatever you do… make sure it’s not something anyone can easily guess. 

Now let’s talk about your e.mail security questions. Remember to apply the same rule to your answer… because if someone knows you personally they will be able to answer your  security question no problem. So always mix up your answer with some numbers and extra letters. Even then if someone knows what street you grew up on or where your mother was born, they wont have the exact answer. 

Always set up alternate email accounts and make sure they are secure too. 

A recovery e-mail account is a method a lot of systems use to help you get back into an account that you have lost the password for. This could be for a site like Facebook or for another e-mail account like Gmail. The idea is simple. You ask the site to send you your password (some will just reset it). The site says: “Sure, it’s been e-mailed to you.” As long as you have access to that other account, you are just fine and dandy.

Check your recovery e-mail account every three months or so. If you do not, the account may be deleted. Someone else can now claim it. If someone claims that account accidentally and you reset your password, then you just lost control of your main account. If it was on purpose, then the next step is to simply go through the password recovery process.

My advice is to check this account before reading any further if you have not done so recently. This is the one tip that I found I had not followed when I heard about it. Fortunately, I grabbed the accounts back before someone else did.

Also most sites now as you to register your mobile with them so when you are in the recovery process they can just send you the code.  My suggestion is to apply everything to your account if they options are there to do so. So even if let’s say you can’t access your recovery email address you can use one of the other methods, security question or email recovery. 

While most of this stuff is common sense, we always think it wont happen to me but you just never know. So always be safe and be aware!

25 responses to “How not to get hacked! How secure are your accounts?

  1. I use unique passwords for everything and keep a seperate email address for recovery.

    I also use a mixed bag of numbers as well as upper and lower case letters just to be awkward.

    ANY PASSWORD CAN BE HACKED if you try hard enough so don’t make it easy!!!

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.

  2. OMG that’s awful! I use passwords you couldn’t even think to consider. At least one would hope. You outta hear the password my daughter had in school when she was younger.🙂 In case someone lied and said they were going to get her, they wanted you to have a password that only a family member or person who was going to pick you up would use. In that case my response is always to call me I have a cell phone number.

  3. you did the right thing… smart move to use cell phone rather than a password…

    my darling sisters famous password is “password”… seriously thats what she used for one of her accounts until i told her off… today I helped her secure all her details as there has been a lot of hacking going on on facebook… it’s seriously worrying…

    • We have both a cell phone and a password. Pretend someone took her and had her phone, they could respond to me and I’d never know. This way if the response is different I can ask for the password on there as well as live and in person. Course, they could ask her but… it’s at minimum a precautionary method.

      LOL Password as a password. Oye.

      • sounds like a great idea… I would never have thought of it…

        I remember when we were kids we used to have passwords to be allowed into our “den”… hilarious because if there was a kid we didn’t like we would pretend he had the wrong pswd and refuse him/her entry😛

        yeah password it was… but she’s like that… needs her as kicked sometimes…

  4. am using a same email address and password since last 10+ years everywhere and i never get hacked nevertheless they invaded me so many of times but they failed always.
    Aneesa, you know what, hackers, crackers & phreakers are self-taught prodigies and the entire internet is vulnerable– the professional BLACK HATS can do anything if they want and nothing can save you.but if some gullible and ordinary internet user is trying to access your any of account than he/she is simply wasting his/her time and energy– you need not to worry.

    • I was worried but not anymore… because my settings were vulnerable… if you know me you will be able to answer my security questions no problem or even guess my password… now ive changed everything… and set up recovery emails, im no longer bothered… whatever idiot is trying to invade me … bring it on!
      😛

  5. Some good advise there..personally I’ve never been hacked thank god🙂

    But I’m always changin passwrds for evrything i have..because yuu neva knw wen it can happen…

    And ii deffo think people should deffo try to create new emails for each separate account/profile they have..some are too lazy to create new ones or are quite forgetful when it comes to passwords lol

    But like you said…we should use numbers all jumbled up..n dose dat we can remember easily🙂

  6. It is always best to be safe than sorry my friend…
    A very good posting that offers a logical edge to
    Internet usage… I hope that you are very well🙂

    Androgoth Xx

  7. I worry about this a bit too. My thinking on it is not as thorough as yours but I have started using several passwords were I used to use only one. Clearly I am a bit dim, but I cannot imagine why anyone would want to hack into my facebook Account. It does’nt really have any personal information in it that you could’nt just see on the “Info” page anyway.

    • most of your details are on the info page but what about pvt in box messages, photos and videos. If you have them and don’t anyone else to see them this can cause problems too.

      Many of us communicate with loved ones, family and friends through the inbox and a lot of personal things are sent to and fro. I know I wouldn’t want anyone reading my messages or getting hold of my photos. There is a lot of misuse of these things these days.

      Also one someone is in your account they suddenly have access to everyone elses on your facebook list. That means they can get into photo albums, private groups and private walls.

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