Most people like to think they’re pretty tech-savvy. However, Cobalt Labs, Inc., a platform for security and development, reported that 2,220 cyberattacks occur each day, which equates to 800,000 attacks per year. According to AAG, an IT services company, nearly 1 billion emails were exposed in a single year, affecting 1 in 5 internet users.

In January, there was a data breach that exposed billions of records online. Many outlets referred to this breach as the “Mother of All Breaches.”  In a detailed report from, the leak included websites like Dropbox, Linkedin, and X (formerly known as Twitter). They mentioned in their report that if users use the same passwords for their Netflix account as they do for their Gmail account, attackers can use this to pivot towards other, more sensitive accounts. They added, “Apart from that, users whose data has been included in supermassive MOAB may become victims of spear-phishing attacks or receive high levels of spam emails.”

Red Flags of Hacking

There are many ways to tell if you have been hacked, from redirected internet searches and unexpected installs to rogue mouse pointers. Some studies show that random pop-ups that quickly appear with links or advertisements can be a sign. Sometimes, one may see fraudulent antivirus warning messages, saying that your computer has been hacked from an antivirus “software” you have never actually installed. This can also be unwanted browser toolbars, emails sent from your email to your contacts, and passwords being declined among other telltale signs.

Avoid Getting Hacked

For many years, people have been told over and over again about the risk of hackers tapping into your technology. Even as technology advances and more and more security software and management techniques are created to prevent these hacks, scammers continue to find ways to break in.

There’s only one sure way to avoid getting hacked. And that’s to never go online. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have that option. So, check out some of the top mistakes that can get you hacked below.

  • Reusing Passwords

    Many of us are still using the same password across many different accounts. While it’s pretty common, it’s not a good habit to have. If you’re reusing passwords for multiple websites and accounts, a hacker could potentially use that password to log into those accounts. Nobody wants to have to remember a 16-digit password for every single one of their accounts, especially when getting locked out of a computer or platform at the most inconvenient time. But if a security breach were to happen, that’s one less problem to worry about. Like, remembering which accounts are at risk of a threat.

    Businessman showing data access protection with key icon, cyber security ,Protecting data from theft ,digital security unlocking or encryption, virus protection and safety alerts ,internet security

    Thanakorn Lappattaranan/ Getty Images

  • Oversharing On Social Media

    Personal data exposure is really a thing. When you share personal information on social media, you expose yourself to the risk of identity theft and fraud. According to the New York Institute of Technology, Cybercriminals can use the information you share, such as your full name, date of birth, and location, to impersonate you or launch targeted attacks. Most people know that sharing sensitive information such as your car information, address, work history, or phone numbers can make you vulnerable. But some people forget that this information can also be identified through pictures and innocent as sharing your new car photo or your child’s first day of school photo.

    Businessmen use smartphones to communicate online on social media. the Internet, digital technology, Social network concept

    Suchat longthara/ Getty Images

  • Using Unsecure Wi-Fi

    Hackers can use unsecured Wi-Fi connections to distribute malware. If you allow file-sharing across a network, the hacker can easily plant infected software on your computer. Free public Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere at places like restaurants, hotels, airports, bookstores, and even retail outlets. But public wi-fi comes with risks. “Hackers can also use an unsecured Wi-Fi connection to distribute malware. If you allow file-sharing across a network, the hacker can easily plant infected software on your computer,” said Kaspersky, a tech company. Some people highly recommended looking into a VPN to encrypt internet traffic and keep your data hidden.

    a black tablet pc on a desk with a wlan symbol

    Jens Domschky/ Getty Images

  • Clicking Suspicious Links

    Clicking on a suspicious link or phishing link can sometimes set off a malware download that often contains malicious files. According to Aura, a credit monitoring platform, these links are capable of collecting information stored on your device. Hackers can steal credit card numbers, bank account numbers, usernames and passwords, and other personal information. If you’ve clicked on a phishing link, Cyber Tec Security suggest completely disconnecting from the internet.

    Hand of teenage boy using keyboard and mouse when playing videogame at home

    DragonImages/ Getty Images

  • Out-Of-Date Software

    The last thing many of us want to do is update our software. But there are many reasons why it’s important to do so. Software updates not only fix and improve problems with your software it also helps you avoid hackers. According to the University of Idaho, software updates often include patches that fix vulnerabilities or bugs that hackers can exploit to access your system or data. “By installing the latest updates, you can reduce the risk of cyberattacks and protect your personal and business information,” they said.

    Software update on computer for modish version of device software upgrade

    Ralf Hahn/ Getty Images

  • Not Using Multi-Factor Authentication

    One of the most effective things you can do to protect your online accounts is turning on multi-factor, or two-factor, authentication for as many of your accounts as possible. This method often uses a piece of information such as a code generated by an app or sent to your phone alongside a password. Two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security to the authentication process. According to Tech Target, using multi-factor authentication makes it harder for attackers to gain access to a person’s devices or online accounts. Most companies have this in place for their employers but it’s something you can use for personal emails too.

    Concept of cyber security in two-step verification, multi-factor authentication, information security, encryption, secure access to user's personal information, secure Internet access, cybersecurity.

    tsingha25/Getty Images

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