Keeping Your Online Files Safe From Hackers

31st July 2015
2 minute read

Chances are you’re not a world famous celebrity. But the fact remains hackers can and do target any and everybody, so if you store your photos, videos, music or documents online you are at risk of hacking. Here are some tips on keeping your stuff safe.

1. Use 2 Step Verification (2SV)

Also known as Two Factor Authentication, this method of safeguarding often gets overlooked purely because people can’t be bothered to enter two passwords. But that’s twice the amount of work a hacker has to do to get access to your accounts. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook all offer 2SV – find it in your account settings and activate it – you and your hacker friends will now have to enter a password and a pin to access your information.

2. Make your password difficult to crack

Hackers use a number of methods to unearth passwords, so it’s our job to make it as hard as possible for them to do their job. A long password (eight characters or more) containing upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols (e.g. ! $ ^) in any combination take much longer to crack – at least two years in most cases. Don’t use things like your dog’s name – unless that happens to be £fRH&%345.

3. Change your password regularly

It’s annoying, yes. It can create great frustration when you can’t remember it, also yes. But a password changed every few months is less likely to be guessed or cracked. A minor inconvenience is better than seeing your pictures posted all over Twitter by some anonymous prankster is it not?

4. Beware of sites offering free stuff

If you have to fill in a long form with personal details in order to receive a £3 Asda voucher, you’re in effect giving your details away. They will then be sold to other companies, and we don’t know how reputable they will be. This will almost certainly lead to an upsurge in spam. Which leads us to…

5. NEVER EVER reply to spam emails

Everyone knows what spam emails are, so everyone should know not to click links, open attachments or reply to these mails under any circumstances. So I don’t even have to tell you not to.

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