Stay secure online with a few basic steps

Stay secure online with a few basic steps

Posted: Updated:
LUBBOCK, Texas -

There is a good chance your Facebook account was recently compromised.

While this security breech gained a lot of attention, thousands of Americans are attacked everyday.

Social security numbers, birthdays, driver license numbers; your entire existence can be found online.

"We have our data, our social security number, our credit cards, all this information is in so many locations today it's probably unreasonable to believe that our information hasn't been compromised at some point or won't be compromised at some point," said Russ Horn, Pres. of CoNetrix, a computer networking and data security company.

Horn said your digital footprint gives hackers all the information they need to wreak havoc.

"When you visit a website in most cases that website can see a lot of your data," Horn said. "It can see what website you're coming from, what version of operating system you're running on that device and if it can see that it's a compromised one then it can try to compromise that device or if it's an old version it can try to compromise a known vulnerability."

Your data can be stolen indirectly too. The apps on your phone are constantly transmitting data and can provide doors for hackers.

"A lot of apps when they try to install they say they're going to access their camera or your microphone or your photos and you need to think through it. Why do they need that?"

He said delete the ones you are not using and clean up the security settings on the ones you do use.

"With an iPhone or an Android most people are doing a lot of surfing on their phones. They do have under the general security settings and you can go in there and apply encryption, you can turn on various different protections with those settings and so they are different based on the phone but I recommend going into those device settings and looking at them and becoming familiar with them."

The most important thing you can do is update your passwords.

"Make sure you don't use the same password for multiple accounts especially not your critical banking, credit card information," said Jeff Barrington, Asst. VP of Texas Tech's IT. 

Barrington said if you are a victim of an attack, there is a tool you can use to minimize the damage done to your credit.

"Make sure you go in and freeze your credit with all three agencies; your credit, your children's credit, that's one of the big things you can do," he said.

At the end of the day the best thing you can do is to follow the basics; update your passwords, install the updates, adjust your security settings, install anti-virus software and freeze your credit.

"On almost every compromise you can go back and see that a basic was not applied."

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