Security Measures to Prevent Your Gadgets from Being Hacked

These days smart gadgets are common in every household and with almost every individual. Unfortunately though, these smart devices make use of the internet so much they are extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks and hackers. A hacker getting into your device could have very serious implications as it would leave all your personal data exposed. 

So how can you use your smart gadgets safely and prevent hackers from getting in? Experts in the field have lent their advice on the subject so you can effectively protect your devices.

Do Not Use Public WiFi

“Public wifi is one of the gateways hackers use to obtain confidential information through your devices since it is an unsecured and open line where gadgets are in easy access, which makes it possible for them to do online mischief. So, if ever you go to public places always use secured connections such as mobile data for a safer line and online surfing experience.”

Robert Johnson, Founder Sawinery

Keep Sensitive Data Off the Cloud

“There are very few storage solutions that offer maximum protection, and however you choose to look at it, any information you store on the cloud will always have a chance of being stolen. If it’s important information, don’t store it on the cloud.”

Matthew Paxton, Founder Hypernia

Use Security Software

“To secure your devices, you should always keep them up to date with the newest OS. In addition, there is plenty of security software such as VPNs, antiviruses, password managers that can help you protect your gadgets and data. Of course, you should be careful on the internet as well. Avoid clicking on any suspicious links or opening unknown email attachments, which could steal your information or install malware. Also, setting up multi-factor authentication on your email and social media accounts will secure you from hackers. Finally, do not provide personal data such as credit card details or passwords to people pretending to be calling from a bank or government as most likely they are scammers.”

Anton Petrov, cybersecurity expert and the head of Atlas VPN blog team

Use Complex Passwords

“The most effective way to avoid network intrusions is to use safe passwords. An intruder would have a tougher time breaking into your system if your passwords are safe. Safer also entails a longer and more complicated process. Make the password at least eight characters long and use a mix of numbers, uppercase, and lowercase letters, and machine symbols. Hackers have a toolkit that allows them to crack fast, simple passwords in minutes.”

Alex Claro, VPN Analyst Credit Donkey

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

“In my opinion, while using a strong password is a good first step in protecting a gadget and its accounts, cybercriminals may use brute force attacks to break passwords or phishing attacks to trick users into giving up their passwords. As a result, the NCSC advises using two-factor authentication to ensure that attackers are unable to gain access to accounts. Because even though hackers know your password, having to authorize a login attempt via text message or a mobile app makes it more difficult for them to take over your Account.”

Miklos Zoltan, CEO & Cybersecurity Researcher Privacy Affairs

Make Use of a Firewall

“Firewalls are built into Windows and macOS and other gadgets, and they serve as a shield between your data and the outside world. Firewalls protect your gadget’s network from unauthorized access and notify you of any intrusion attempts. Before you go online on your gadgets, ensure the firewall is turned on. Depending on your broadband connection, which also has a built-in firewall that protects your network, you can buy a hardware firewall from companies including Cisco, Sophos, or Fortinet.”

Veronica Miller, Cybersecurity Expert, VPNoverview

Keep Everything Updated

“It’s critical to apply updates as soon as possible, particularly if they fix security vulnerabilities. Maintain all of your apps, smart appliances, and accessories with the most recent updates and firmware. Anyone who owned a router received a warning from the FBI that it needed to be restarted. That, in my opinion, is insufficient protection for your files and network. You should definitely take a few extra measures. The directions can be found by clicking here. If hackers discover a flaw in a program or operating system, they may use it to aggressively target computers before the flaw is fixed.”

Daniel Foley, SEO Manager at Litta

Secure your Devices Already

“Surprisingly, at least one-third of smartphone users don’t bother to encrypt their devices with even the most basic four-digit passcode. Face scans, thumbprints, irises, passcodes, patterns, and more are all used to lock and unlock our phones, laptops, and tablets. Simply set it up. It’s a slight annoyance that might save you a lot of grief later.”

Sasha Quail, Business Development Manager of Claims UK

Encrypt your Drives

“Disk encryption is an additional layer of protection you can use. Your data will be encrypted and translated into an unreadable code that can only be decoded with a special key or password. BitLocker, a built-in encryption tool in Windows, can be enabled by PC users. Anyone running Windows Vista or 7 Ultimate, Windows Vista or 7 Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, or Windows 10 Pro can use BitLocker. FileVault, a built-in disc encryption tool on Macs, is also available. It helps avoid unauthorized access to your data and provides an extra layer of protection if your device is hacked or lost, similar to BitLocker.”

Amber Morland, CEO & Founder of WinCope

Securing your IoT Devices

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay, and it’s safe to say that you’ll find at least a couple of these types of gadgets in most American households. However, the more devices connected to the internet you have, the more prone you and your family are to suffering cyber attacks from hackers, which is why it is of utmost importance to take security measures and be protected at all times. So, keeping in mind that everything that’s connected to the internet can be hacked (yes, that means surveillance cameras, smart fridges, even baby monitors), the first thing you want to do is create strong passwords, just like you would do with your smartphone or laptop. This may not stop hackers from gaining control over your devices, but it definitely makes their task harder if they ever want to, and in most cases, it stops them from even trying. Another important instruction to follow in order to maintain your device’s safety is never skipping or ignoring updates. Most companies issue updates to tackle certain security vulnerabilities and hackers are aware of that, so they try to target people whose devices haven’t yet been updated for easier access.”

Tom Winter, HR tech recruitment advisor & co-founder of DevSkiller

Use a VPN

“Unfortunately, for all of the advances we have with technology, we also encounter more and more dangers. It seems that we are always hearing of a new hacking scheme that has stolen the identity of the digital safety of millions. How does anyone stay safe when it feels that the hackers are only getting smarter and more persistent? It is very important that you do what you must to improve your safety at home as well as on the go. The importance of using a VPN on your phone or tablet no matter if you are at home or in public cannot be stressed enough. Is it necessary these days? No, it is downright mandatory. A mobile VPN will give you peace of mind and the ability to search the internet, check your bank account, and access private information without fear that hackers are lying in wait and looking to pounce. Thankfully, there are so many options for a VPN these days, you just need to find one that feels right for you. This is a huge, easy step to secure yourself and your devices. There is no reason to open yourself up to such dangers. Modern problems require modern solutions and there is nothing more modern than a VPN.”

Eric Florence, Cybersecurity Analyst Security Tech

Bottom-line is; you don’t have to stop your online, digitally connected life altogether, just be smart about it.

Coleen Cotto
Writer Coleen is one of our geeks when it comes to online security- whether digital assets, personal data and other topic involving technological information.