7 Steps to Protect Your Online Security

Even the pros get hacked, but there are things you can do to make yourself safer

by Linda Bernstein • Next Avenue
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Photograph: Shutterstock.com

Around 11 a.m. on New Year’s Eve day, a Facebook friend in India sent an urgent message: My website had been hacked. Sure enough, when I went to my site and right-clicked my mouse to view the “source code” (the gibberish that shows what’s going on behind the scenes), I discovered that in addition to being a journalist and social media teacher, I was now also a purveyor of erectile dysfunction products.
 
As his night ticked down toward midnight, a man I know through techie forums and whose expertise I respect spent half an hour guiding me through the many steps of a website cleanse.
 
The irony wasn’t lost on me. Though a putative Internet maven, I fell into the clutches of a cyber-criminal who was clever enough to use my website to earn himself some money. Yet not once did I think, “How could this have happened to me?” Precisely because I am technologically savvy, I know that no one’s data is completely safe on the Internet.

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