HomeTechHacker: Outsmarting Cybercriminals 101: Follow these Top 5 Tips

Sunday, July 23, 2023

By Marlon Buchanan

Cybersecurity is a growing concern for individuals and businesses alike. With cybercriminals becoming more sophisticated in their tactics, it's important to take proactive steps to protect yourself and your sensitive data. 

Let’s discuss five tips for outsmarting cybercriminals and keeping your information safe.

Tip 1: Use Strong Passwords

The first and perhaps most important tip for outsmarting cybercriminals is to use strong passwords. A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and be a phrase that’s easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess that doesn’t contain personal information like your name or birthdate. You should also avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, as this can make it easy for cybercriminals to gain access to all of your sensitive information.

Tip 2: Keep Your Software Up-to-Date

Another step in outsmarting cybercriminals is to keep your software up-to-date. This step includes your operating system, web browsers, mobile phones, and applications you use regularly. Updates often contain security patches that help protect against known vulnerabilities that cybercriminals may exploit.

Tip 3: Be Wary of Phishing Emails

Phishing is a common tactic used by cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive information. These attacks often come in the form of emails that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or online retailer. 

However, these emails may contain links to fake websites or ask for personal information like your login credentials or credit card information. To outsmart these attacks, be wary of emails that ask for personal information and always double-check the sender's email address and the URL of any links included in the message.

Tip 4: Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that requires you to provide two forms of identification before accessing an account. This can include something you know, like a password, and something you have, like a mobile phone. By using two-factor authentication, you can make it much more difficult for cybercriminals to gain access to your accounts even if they do manage to obtain your login credentials.

Tip 5: Be Mindful of Your Online Behavior

Your online behavior can also play a critical role in outsmarting cybercriminals. Avoid sharing sensitive personal information, such as your full name, address, phone number, or financial details, on public forums, social media, or other public platforms. 

Be cautious of the information you post online and limit the amount of personal information you share. Additionally, be wary of unsolicited emails, messages, or phone calls asking for personal information, even if they appear to be from trusted sources. Cybercriminals often use social engineering tactics to gather information and gain unauthorized access to accounts.

Marlon Buchanan
Outsmarting cybercriminals is an ongoing process that requires constant vigilance and attention to detail. 

If you’d like to take a comprehensive approach to stopping scammers, preventing identity theft, and staying safe online check out my book The Personal Cybersecurity Manual or consider enrolling in my Personal Cybersecurity Protection online course.

Marlon Buchanan is a best-selling author, IT Director, and founder of HomeTechHacker.com, a website with free resources to help you make the most of your home technology. If you have questions or comments about this article you can contact Marlon through his website or on Twitter.


Anonymous,  July 23, 2023 at 11:31 AM  

I'm surprised that Marion doesn't recommend using a password vault

Marlon October 2, 2023 at 2:06 PM  

I do recommend a password manager, I just didn't get to that in this article.

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