As our lives become more online, protecting ourselves from hackers becomes increasingly important. Hackers are focused on two things: causing chaos and stealing money. Hackers obtain personal information to charge you without authorization on your accounts or disrupt your business with malware.

The good news is that there are a variety of ways to protect yourself from cyberattacks. Most of them don’t require a significant amount of effort. Begin by encryption data that isn’t being transmitted over the internet (that includes social security numbers of employees or bank routing digits and other sensitive information). Install full-disk encryption software that come standard with most operating systems: For PCs it’s known as BitLocker and for Macs it’s FileVault.

Make sure you update your software regularly. Regularly update your software programs. Many hackers gain access to computers via outdated programs. Updates correct these vulnerabilities and make it harder for hackers to gain access to your system.

Install a firewall on all your devices. Firewalls are networks designed to manage the incoming and outgoing data on your computer. Windows and macOS come with a firewall built-in, but it is recommended that you use a third-party application to protect mobile devices as well as home networks.

Review your device and network names. Avoid using personal identifiers such as your last name or your phone number. This can give hackers access to your information.

Be careful when discussing your work with other people. Even small details, like where you grew up or the names of your pets can be used to help hackers breach security systems.

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