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How not to get hacked in 2019

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

Worrying Wi-Fi

One of the most common pieces of security advice given by cyber professionals is not to use unsecured public Wi-Fi access. There's a very good reason for this: a lack of authentication on a Wi-Fi network allows attackers to set up a spoof network, which looks like the real thing but is secretly operated by hackers to deliver malware or steal information.

An unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot doesn't even have to be operated by hackers to be a security risk; if there's no encryption in place, attackers can snoop on your internet traffic to harvest data about what you're doing online. This can allow them to grab login credentials, sensitive data and more.

The fix: Use a VPN

If you'd rather not have hackers snooping on your online activity, you can fox them fairly easily by using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. What a VPN does, essentially, is create an encrypted tunnel between you and the VPN provider's servers, which then act as a proxy to connect to whichever website you're trying to access.

VPNs are useful for those trying to spoof their location or to avoid government surveillance, but they also prevent unwanted eavesdroppers on unsecured networks. This is because all of your traffic will be encrypted, even if the network your on isn't. There's still a brief window between connecting to an unsecured network and the VPN session being established, in which hackers could potentially harvest some connection data, but it's much, much safer than simply surfing unprotected.

One important note about VPNs - you should select your VPN with care, and avoid VPNs which claim to be free at all costs. This is one area in which it's worth stumping up for a paid subscription; you'll get better security, more features, and you can have peace of mind that your provider isn't selling your data behind your back.

Keep reading to learn how Brexit could lead to you getting hacked...

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