Update 2/22/23. Are you sending spam emails to your friends? You may be and not even know it. I've been getting a lot of spam from people lately whose email was been hacked. If you don't stay on top of things you are at risk of getting hacked and spreading viruses to all of your friends. This is true for your Mac users too! While having your computer or email hacked is a pain in the butt, it doesn't have to be. Let me give you 3 tips to help you keep from getting hacked to help yourself if you are.
1. Change Your Password
Spammers may have accessed your email because they somehow got your password. If you change your password, this should stop the spam from being sent. Remember, passwords should not be words that can be looked up in the dictionary. Passwords also should never include obvious things either your birthday or your mother’s maiden name. A good password should include numbers and letters, and it can even include other symbols like %,$,# as well. Please don't EVER make your password, “password,” or “123456” or something like that. These are way too easy to hack.
Also, consider using a Password manager which will remember all your passwords and log you into sites. Secure password managers include Bitwarden and 1Password. Password managers will even generate a long, strong password for you too.
One password manager caution: Be careful letting it add weird symbols in your passwords, such as any symbol that you don't see on your keyboard. If the symbol is not on your keyboard, then you cant type if, you ever had to. Also, sometimes weird symbols are used in website codes so it may confuse things when you try to log in.
Tip. If you have a WordPress website, the default username is usually “Admin.” Hackers know this and so if keep your username as admin, it makes it a LOT easier for hackers to break into your website. You can change your WordPress username in the “users” menu of your WordPress Dashboard.
2. Update Your Antivirus
If your antivirus is not up to date, your computer can be easily hijacked. If you do not have an antivirus, windows come with a built-in antivirus called Windows Defender/Windows Security. There are also many of free anti-virus programs but I believe the Microsoft antivirus is one of the best of free programs out there.
Just as a double-check, run the free online antivirus scan that you can use at Eset, the makers of NOD32 which I feel is the BEST antivirus today. Eset, NOD 32 is what I use. It does NOT slow down your PC and NOD 32 gives a better defense from viruses than free antivirus programs.
The Mac Virus Myth
Don't believe the myth that only PCs get viruses. Macs are more prone to get a virus because most Mac users don't use antivirus protection. Here is the best antivirus for the Mac.
3. Use The MRT Program
Did you know that your Windows PC has a program that can help you stop the spread of viruses etc? It’s called the Malicious Software Removal Tool from Microsoft, abbreviated as MRT. Here is how to use it:
- Click Start
- Then in the search box, type MRT
- Click the MRT program to open it
If you have never run MRT before, do a “comprehensive scan”. It will take over an hour to complete but it’s worth it. This is not the same as an antivirus program but it can definitely help. Microsoft really should make an MRT icon for the desktop because most people don’t even know it exists.
You can also use Malwarebytes too to scan your computer. Malwarebytes has a free version that will work with Apple, PC, and Android.
One last thing, no antivirus will protect you if you open attachments from people you don't know. Be very careful about this, and also be careful about who you share your email password with. Changing your email password regularly can also help you from getting hacked.
What do you think?