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As our lives get more online, securing ourselves from hackers becomes even more important. Hackers are focused on two things: causing chaos and stealing money. They get personal information from you and use it to make unauthorized charges on your accounts or they could interfere with your business operations by using malware to cause denial of service attacks or other issues.

The good news is that there are many things you can do to secure your data from cyberattacks. The majority of them don’t require a lot of effort. Begin by encrypting sensitive information that’s not sent over the Internet (such as employee social security numbers, routing digits of banks and other sensitive information). Set up full-disk encryption tools that come standard with most operating systems: For PCs it’s known as BitLocker and for Macs, it’s FileVault.

Always upgrade software programs. Update your software programs regularly. Many hackers gain access to computers through outdated software. Updates fix these weaknesses, making it much more difficult for hackers to get into your system and steal information.

Install a firewall on all your devices. Firewalls are a type of network system designed to manage incoming and outgoing traffic on your computer. Windows and macOS both come with a built-in firewall, but you should also consider using an external firewall application to safeguard your home networks and mobile devices.

Review your device names and the names of your networks. Avoid using personal identifiers like your last name or phone number in these names, as they can give hackers easy access to your personal information.

Be wary of discussing your work in public. Hackers can exploit even the smallest details such as your hometown or pet’s name to breach security systems.

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