Top 6 Ways to Avoid Getting Hacked

By Peyton Thompson and Aimy Smith | @Peytonxthompson and @smith_aimy

Over the weekend, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg had his Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter account compromised. Luckily, his Instagram was not hacked, but Tech Crunch believes this was only due to Instagram’s security system. He seemed to be using the same email and password for multiple of his social media accounts. Zuckerberg’s Pinterest page credited the group OurMine Team as the hackers and claimed the password for his LinkedIn account was ‘Dadada.’ LinkedIn’s 2012 password breach could possibly be to blame though that has not been confirmed. Engadget was able to screenshot proof of the hack before the messages were taken down. Don’t pull a Zuckerberg and learn to stay secured with these tips.

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

                                                                                              Photo from Tech Crunch

Top 6 ways to avoid getting hacked:

1. Use different usernames and passwords for all your social media accounts.

We know it’s easy to come up with a password and then just use it for all your accounts, but this could be an easy way to get hacked. (Take it from Mark Zuckerberg, he learned the hard way.) If a hacker gets into one of your accounts, they will try the same credentials in multiple other websites to see what else they can get access to.

2. Add numbers, characters and special symbols to your passwords.

Adding a “$” or “#” to your password can make it much harder for a hacker to figure out your password. Numbers can also be useful in a password, but make sure you don’t use them consecutively - like “1234.” Having more than just words in your passwords make it much more complex and will often leave the hacker unable to gain access to your account.

3. Don’t use personal information in your password.

Avoid using your name, phone number, address or any other personal information in your password. These things are very easy to guess especially since personal information is often public on the internet.

4. Don’t share your password with anyone

This one is pretty simple. Do not give other people your password. It’s your account, not theirs. No good can come from someone else knowing your password. You never know who they’re going to share your password with and it’s best to just keep it to yourself.

5. Change your password every few months

As annoying as it is, you should change your password frequently. Keeping the same password can only lead to problems. Passwords are stolen without the victim’s knowledge and sometimes not used immediately. With this being said, if you change your passwords often, it’s harder for hackers to get into your account.  

6. Use fake answers for security questions

Security questions like “What’s your dog’s name?” or “What street did you grow up on?” are very easy to answer. Think about how many people who you know their street name and dog’s name. With the answers to these questions you could very easily hack on to their social media. If you use false information then hackers won’t be able to answer your security questions or get into your accounts.