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Let me start by saying that whether you like it or not, internet intrusion and hacking comes complimentary with the new technology era that we’re living in today.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t protect privacy or take preventative measures to avoid being hacked.

COVID-19 pandemic has changed our perspectives about work and how we do things. In the most recent past, you could arrange a meeting in the comfort of your office and privately discuss the most confidential information with your team, clients, investors face to face. Today, not so much. We’re forced to rely on platforms like Zoom and Google Meet, therefore, completely exposing the confidentiality of our business to the dark web.

Let’s look at 5 best ways to securely communicate and protect or information regardless of the “Pandemic Mode” that we’re in today. Now these might be the things you might be doing from time to time, but revisiting them at the start of your work day might help you keep safer on a daily basis.

1. Make sure to use secure passwords

That’s the first step to keep in mind, passwords. You might think you have a secured password and maybe you’re using the same password throughout your device collection. Not so smart. Creating different and more complex passwords is one of the best ways to prevent your accounts from being hacked. Many secure platforms like Gsuite, Microsoft and Amazon often encourage users to create long and complex passwords with “Two-factor authentication” (TFA). TFA connects to your phone number or a secondary email on the account, sending a One-time Pin (OTP) to notify you that someone is attempting to log in to your account. Immediately change your password if the login attempt is unknown.

2. Check your privacy settings

While you want to jump right into your work and get things going, do not neglect the privacy of your data in the process. Control the information you share with the websites you’re visiting and always be mindful of what you’re providing access to. We often click “dismiss” or “Allow access”, when warnings or important information pops up, without reading. We know it takes time to read through the legal stuff, but remember, it’s designed to be complicated so that user’s allow access to websites and apps without reading the privacy information. This can be destructive, especially on social media sites. Always be aware of what you’re being asked for, it’s very important.

3. Use the best antivirus softwares

We’ve all heard of softwares like McAfee, Norton, Kaspersky and WordFence. Too technical? Well, too important. These softwares are out there for a reason, use them. While most of us don’t have the time or luxury to invest in antivirus softwares, we end up being compromised. It takes just a few minutes to install these softwares on your computer and it does a whole lot more good than harm. WordFence is one of the most popular antivirus plugins for WordPress websites that constantly blocks login attempts to the backend of your website. Also ensure that the websites you’re visiting are also protected by one of these softwares to protect your information from being compromised through a third party website.

4. Avoid using public networks

While most of us are home during quarantine, some of us just have too much to do that we just can’t stay home. Maybe you’re traveling for work or just “outside” to work away from your home. That’s fine as long as you’re not using public Wi-Fi networks. It’s very critical to understand how you might be risking your information by connecting to unsecured public networks. First alarming sign is, “no password required”. It can be risky to connect to any network that’s open to the public. Remember, if you can have access to it, so can the hackers. This can be harmful, especially when you’re handling confidential information for your organization on your device using public Wi-Fi.

5. Try to use messaging platforms “End-to-End Encryption”

Now it might not be possible to get on the phone every time. Sometimes you might just have to rely on texts and emails. Understanding how end-to-end encrypted platforms like WhatsApp may help you communicate securely. When using unsecured messaging platforms, your messages are stored in the service provider’s server in “decrypted” format. What does that mean? It means that if service provider’s servers get hacked, your personal conversations and information you sent and received will be at risk as well. Alway refer to the “Privacy Policy” of the app or programs you use and ensure to educate yourself about how your data is being managed.

These are just a few of many steps you can take to prevent from being hacked or compromised. The internet is not secure and neither is our information, but understanding and educating yourself on how it can affect you and what measures you can take to protect yourself can definitely prove helpful.