In-depth

How not to get hacked in 2019

A guide to all the latest cyber criminal tricks, and how to beat them

When it comes to defeating security threats, awareness is one of the most effective weapons in your arsenal, and our chief aim is to continue providing you with the knowledge and the defences you need to stay one step ahead of the hackers and scammers.

Below we run through the latest security threats and show you new ways to beat them. The overall message here is: don't be complacent. The techniques used by crooks and hackers are always evolving, so you need to keep evolving your security strategies, too.

Vicious viruses

Computer viruses have been around for almost as long as computers themselves, and to this day, malware of virtually every kind continues to be a constant threat to digital security. From trojans to worms to viruses, there's a seemingly never-ended stream of different types of malware, all of which have the potential to put your digital safety in serious danger.

Different types of malware are designed to do different things, like silently spying on your activity (either digitally or in real life through your webcam), or stealing your banking information. Some malware is designed to hide out of sight for years, waiting until it's activated by its creators.

After all, the people crafting this malware invest a great deal of time and energy in making sure that their software is at the cutting edge, developing new tactics for avoiding detection and exploiting weak points in your software.

The fix: Updates, updates, updates

If you want to repel the various forms of malware that want to worm their way into your system, the first step is to make sure that all of your software is kept up-to-date. Software updates generally contain security fixes for bugs and vulnerabilities that have been discovered by the manufacturers, so not installing them leaves you with security holes that can let in hackers.

Windows 10 is pretty clear about letting you know when there's an update due (and in fact will install most of them automatically) but third-party software isn't always as helpful. Luckily there are a number of apps such as SUMo (Software Updates Monitor) from KC Softwares, which will automatically scan your installed programs and let you know which ones need patching.

Read on to find out how to defend against ransomware...

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