If you’re not careful (and sometimes even if you are), it’s easy to fall victim to hackers, especially when browsing online. Hackers are constantly looking for entry points into your online accounts and other ways to profit from your reliance on the digital world.

So how do you avoid falling victim to hackers? Social media (especially Facebook), popular e-commerce websites, and popular email providers all provide some level of risk from hacking.

Here are several strategies to reduce your risk.

Keep your software updated

An easy way to avoid being hacked is to keep your software up to date, especially if you’re using any open source software.

One of the top ways hackers gain access to your accounts is through known security vulnerabilities. Those software updates and patches often contain fixes for the security vulnerabilities, so it’s important to stay on top of them.

Be careful what you click

Whether it’s an email attachment, a website with games, or a cute cat video, links you click can often be malware in disguise. You’re often just one or two clicks away from falling victim to a hacker.

Of course, we’re not suggesting you stop playing games or quit watching cat videos. But be careful what you click, regardless of where you are online.

Use two-factor authentication

Sometimes a password isn’t enough. A proactive way to prevent hacking is to enable two-factor authentication everywhere you can. 

The process involves the normal authentication with your password plus one additional step. A website or service using two-factor authentication may text you a PIN number or may use a mobile app like Google Authenticator that generates a PIN dynamically.

Watch out for phishing emails

We’ve shared details on phishing emails in the past. Be wary of official-looking emails and login pages that look somewhat official but have misspellings, bad links, or something else that seems slightly off.

Of course, these strategies are just a start. The key is to be proactive and think about what you’re doing. By following these tips, you can greatly reduce your risk.