Digital Danger: Prevent hackers from breaking into your computer

News 2 I-Team looks into how hackers can track digital device users.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) — Computers are everywhere–in the home, at the office, and even in our cars and phones. With all of the technology in our lives, hacking is a major risk.

Computer expert Matt Ham has been helping us protect our devices from hackers during the I-Team’s Digital Danger series.

This comes after the recent WikiLeaks report that explains how the government can get into your devices.

“The CIA was potentially using malware to get into the computers,” said Ham.

“They can track conversations you’re having on phones or get around passwords,” he said.

To better secure a computer or laptop, Ham suggests antivirus software.

“A working antivirus is continuously updated and protects you from a certain amount of hacks,” said Ham.

Ham says to also take updates when your computer suggests it. It will patch any holes that hackers may have caused.

“If you have Windows, run the Windows update,” he said.

When surfing the web, be picky about your Wi-Fi. Ham says don’t trust one that’s public.

“Using Wi-Fi that is only password enabled … that can prevent hackers from getting into your device,” Ham said.

Ham also suggests locking your device with a password. Change that password often, and make it unique.

“[Don’t use] ‘password’ as your password,” he said.

On the internet, people often get scammed though phishing emails.

“Phishing is when someone will send you a message to try to get you to give them information. They’re literally fishing for information,” Ham said.

College student Abigail Ogden doesn’t trust the camera built into her laptop.

“I keep that marked off if I’m not Facetiming or on Skype,” Ogden said.

But for others, connectivity is part of a routine, and is engrained in their lifestyle.

“I don’t think about [cyber security] that much. I think people should think about it more. I think internet connection and Wi-Fi are just such a normal part of our daily lives, that we don’t really think our privacy is being invaded,” said another college student.

So, Ham says it’s up to the user to control what he or she puts on the World Wide Web to any potential hackers.

“Just be vigilant. Understand what you’re sharing, and who you’re sharing it with is probably the number one thing you can do,” Ham said.

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