The more time you spend online, your risk of online harassment grows. Being proactive can stop digital stalkers before they track your every move, change your passwords and shatter your sense of security. I’ve heard from people who have been fending off hackers for years — and they describe scary situations.
Last May, Rhonda from Boston, Massachusetts, said a hacker had been tormenting her for seven years. They disabled her home security system, broke into her car and changed her passwords. Jill from Phoenix, Arizona, recently said she’s been dealing with similar invasive issues for two years.
If you’ve ever struggled with persistent digital tormentors, follow this checklist.
Firstly, always keep an eye out for cybersecurity threats
Finding red flags ahead of time thwarts hackers who want to invade your privacy. Is your smartphone or computer suddenly hot or slow? Is the battery draining faster than usual? If so, you may have malware on your device.
Check your apps to see if there are any programs you didn’t download. Delete them immediately and install antivirus on your devices.
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You should be especially wary if you have a smart home. Here’s why:
- It’s disturbingly easy for hackers to break into your smart home security cameras and spy on you.
- Cybercriminals have access to free tools like Shodan, which lets anyone watch footage from unsecured devices.
- Want to stop creeps from spying on you? Ditch your security system’s default password. Pick a strong, original and hard-to-crack password.
- Also, look for these five signs to tell if your security camera was hacked.
Sadly, you can take precautions and still be hacked. Security breaches are an everyday occurrence in today’s digitized world. Here’s what to do when a hacker invades your digital life.
Use these tricks to stop digital stalkers in 2023
Don’t let hackers torment you. At the first sign of trouble, take these steps:
- Change your passwords: Start by changing the passwords for all your accounts, including your email, social media, and banking accounts. Use strong, unique passwords for each account. Consider using a password manager to keep track of them.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): Add an extra layer of security over your accounts by enabling two-factor authentication. Since hackers have the ability to intercept your texts, I recommend using an authenticator app. These apps generate one-time login codes, which are hard to intercept.
- Check your devices for malware: Check your monthly data usage, look for unexplained charges on your bill and take sudden pop-ups as red flags. Use reputable antivirus software to scan your devices for any malware or spyware that may be installed.
- Update your software: Make sure all of your devices are running the latest versions of their operating systems and software. This patches security vulnerabilities that hackers may have exploited. You can even factory reset your iPhone or Android in a few simple steps.
- Consult a cybersecurity professional: Consider reaching out to a cybersecurity professional or a local IT support company for help in investigating and resolving the issue.
- Disconnect from the internet: When you’re unable to resolve the issue or are concerned about your safety, you may need to disconnect from the internet and seek further assistance from law enforcement or a cybersecurity professional.
Act quickly. Every second you waste gives hackers the opportunity to turn your devices into invasive surveillance tools.
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