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Former hacker says there are five main security mistakes everyone makes with their devices

Former hacker says there are five main security mistakes everyone makes with their devices

He's revealed some simple ways to keep yourself safe online

A hacker has revealed the common security mistakes that loads of us make, leaving us vulnerable to criminals.

Kieran Burge, is a security consultant at Prism Infosec, where he tests companies cybersecurity setups to check for any weaknesses.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he shared five mistakes that you may be making and how to keep yourself safe online.

1. Using out of date softwares on phones and computers

As one of the most commonly made mistakes, Burge recommends ensuring that you’re always using up-to-date software on your phone or computer.

He explained that if an update has been released it’s often because there was a security issue.

Once a security problem is identified by hackers, it can be shared in online forums, meaning more people will be made aware of it.

Burge warned that this can lead to someone gaining access to your sensitive information.

A cybersecurity expert has shared some common mistakes you may be making online.

2. Do not reuse passwords

Next up, Burge has a warning for everyone who reuses the same password across multiple sites.

He told the Daily Mail: “No matter what site you're giving information to you, you don't know what they're going to do with that information or how they're going to protect it.”

One of the main risks with reusing passwords is that if one site is compromised it can give criminals access to every other site that you use the same password on.

Burge said that when a company is breached there’s often a ‘big database dump’ shared on the darkweb, containing all the details.

“There are going to be databases out there with username and password combinations for your accounts,” he added. “If you're reusing passwords then any hacker can take that combination and use it to take control of another company.”

Hackers are always coming up with new ways to steal your information.
Pexels/Sora Shimazaki

3. Be careful of what you share online

The security expert also warned against sharing too much online. With social media playing an integral part in most of our lives these days, we’ve all become used to sharing more online.

However, Burge warns that if you do share too much private or personal information hackers may be able to access your accounts.

He says hackers will scour the internet to find information such as your date of birth, address and the answers to common security questions such as mother’s maiden name or the name of your pets.

Burge explained that this information can then be used to ‘sim-jack’ your phone number.

He said: “Once you have all that information you can use social engineering techniques to ring up their mobile provider and convince them to transfer the mobile number to a new sim.”

This can then be used to get around two-factor authentication and ultimately give them access to all your accounts, including online banking.

He’s warned against using public wifi networks.
Pexels/Edmond Dantès

4. Avoid public WiFi

Burge also recommends people avoid joining public WiFi networks - like the type you get in cafes and airports.

He pointed out that many of these networks aren’t encrypted so the data you send across it can be captured by anyone else using the same network.

He suggests always using a VPN when using a public network, which will encrypt your data for you.

5. Be careful of links you click

Finally, and this one may seem obvious - but Burges has urged folks to check any links are legit before clicking.

Phishing emails and texts are on the rise in the UK, with some looking incredibly realistic - but before you go and click anything make sure that what you’re looking at is real.

“You need to be vigilant of anyone that is sending you something when you don't expect it,” Burge said.

“Don't click on dodgy links, don't download dodgy files, don't fall into their trap.”

Featured Image Credit: Linkedin/Keiran Burge / Getty Stock Image

Topics: Technology, Phones