Tips from Your Friendly Hacker to Keep You Safe Online

 In the realm of online security, the advice often comes from self-proclaimed experts. But why not take cues from a genuine hacker? In the day-to-day operations of an ethical hacker, or what some might call a penetration tester, a plethora of common security oversights are encountered. These oversights often pave the way for unauthorized access to computer systems, making it crucial to address them proactively.


Economically motivated black-hat hackers typically seek out the easiest targets. By implementing a few simple adjustments, individuals can significantly bolster their online security, thwarting casual breaches and preserving their privacy. Presented here are the top five habits that should be modified when navigating the digital landscape, all from the perspective of a hacker.

  1. Utilize a VPN

    In an ideal online environment, all websites would utilize robust encryption protocols. However, the reality is far from perfect. Enter Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), which establish encrypted tunnels between a user's device and the provider's servers. Especially crucial for frequent travelers connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, VPNs mitigate the risks associated with unsecured connections. While debates exist among security experts regarding their efficacy, opting for an audited, no-log VPN can enhance privacy and thwart potential government surveillance.

  2. Empoly a JavaScript Blocker or Whitelist

    Given the prevalence of JavaScript in web content delivery, it serves as a common vector for various cyber attacks. By deploying a JavaScript blocker or whitelist, users can selectively allow scripts from trusted sources while mitigating the risks posed by malicious scripts. This proactive measure significantly reduces the likelihood of session credentials being compromised or falling victim to drive-by attacks.

  3. Conduct Personal Online Audits

    Understanding the extent of personal information available online is crucial for preempting potential cyber threats. Utilizing basic open-source intelligence techniques, individuals can uncover a wealth of publicly accessible data, including real names, addresses, and more. By scrutinizing and minimizing their online presence, users can sever the link between their virtual and real identities, thwarting attempts to exploit personal information.

  4. Regularly Update Software

    Routine software updates are often overlooked but play a pivotal role in mitigating cybersecurity risks. Outdated software versions present vulnerabilities that malicious actors can exploit. Particularly crucial for mobile devices, which often store sensitive information, regular updates help safeguard against emerging threats and zero-day exploits.

  5. Ditch Password Reuse

    Reusing passwords across multiple platforms poses a significant security risk. In the event of a data breach, compromised credentials can easily grant unauthorized access to other accounts. Implementing unique passwords for each platform, combined with password managers or two-factor authentication, enhances security and mitigates the risk of brute force attacks.

As we traverse the digital domain, our commitment to fortifying our online presence remains unwavering. By incorporating the strategies discussed, we bolster our defenses against cyber intrusions and protect the sanctity of our personal information. Yet, let us not view these measures as the culmination of our efforts but rather as the foundation upon which we build a resilient cybersecurity posture. Through ongoing vigilance and adaptation, we fortify our digital fortifications, ensuring a secure and empowered online experience for ourselves and future generations.

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