Cybercrime is growing, not least since app users around the world have made it so easy for cybercriminals to access their personal information.
Even with all the reminders to 1) set strong passwords, 2) avoid opening strange files and emails and 3) be careful about the wifi networks you log onto, many users still think being hacked will never happen to them.
If you’re one of those who haven’t done much to improve your device security – and are curious to see if it could happen to you, then why not speed up the process? Here are seven easy things you can do to let cybercriminals in:
1. Turn on automatic wifi and bluetooth connectivity
By keeping bluetooth on when you leave your home or office, your devices can be seen – and accessed – by anyone within one to 100 metres depending on the strength of your bluetooth transmitter. It’s an ideal way to signal hackers to gain access and get on with it.
By enabling your smartphone, tablet and laptop to automatically connect as you pass through wifi hotspots you’ll be able to join to all manner of networks, some you’re not even aware of, thereby giving access to anyone who may be looking to gain it.
2. Use public wifi
Go to a coffee shop (or airport or hotel) and use the public wifi to do your banking and shop online. Also login to the apps that you use most because intercepting login information is what cybercriminals are getting really good at.
Also, if you don’t mind that well-dressed guy sitting in the corner accessing your laptop, then don’t use a VPN to extend a virtual private network across the public wifi network because a VPN will keep your smartphone/tablet and laptop secure.
3. Don’t get ransomware protection
By installing ransomware protection on your devices, strange software won’t be able to install and run. It’ll also detect threats to your systems and vulnerabilities in your apps. So if you’re keen to get hacked, don’t sign up for this kind of high-level protection.
4. Download lots of mobile apps
Go wild downloading apps that you don’t really need, seldom use or aren’t very well known. Not only will they slow down your devices but possible hidden vulnerabilities will pose a security risk, and cybercriminals could gain access or information through them. Oh, and obviously use the same password for all your apps.
5. Give as many personal details as you can on social media
By setting your preferences to Public wherever possible, you give cybercriminals information about your family, your history, your interests, your movements, and more. This can give them clues about whether you’re a worthy target.
6. Click on attachments in emails
If you receive a phishing email – i.e. one where the sender poses as a trusted source such as your bank or PayPal and asks you to type in your username and password – provide your details if you’re feeling generous and want to give hackers some of what’s yours.
7. Don’t update your apps
Hopefully you do update your operating software, but if you want to get hacked, don’t set your apps to update automatically because that’ll prevent you from being targeted in the early days of bugs being detected. Being hacked is easy when you’re vulnerable to insecurities that developers haven’t yet picked up.