How do you protect yourself from hackers?

How to factory reset Alexa without app

Lots of great answers from experts.

And most of us are not going to switch to Linux.

,Iu2019m no expert but I am more paranoid than the average user.

,Here are some things you can do.

,Call your mobile phone company and tell them not to port your mobile phone numbers under any circumstances.

This includes your tablet if it has its own phone number - e.

g.

, if your tablet has its own cellular data plan or is part of your data plan.

,If someone has enough information to port your number, they might port your number, pretend to be you and cause all sorts of problems.

,Consider doing less social media.

Besides being mostly a distraction (Take Back Your Brain From Social Media), social media makes it easier for hackers to pretend they are you.

,I was having dinner with a doctor friend who is totally nice and has nothing to do with tech other than using social media, etc.

like normal people.

,Someone created a Facebook account in his name and started friending all his friends and family.

He could not get Facebook to shut it down.

,This went on for several days.

,Facebook and Google may be violating your privacy more than other companies.

Get your loved ones off Facebook.

How Facebooks tentacles reach further than you think - BBC News Google starts tracking offline shopping u2014 what you buy at stores in personIMO Quora should offer two-factor authentication.

,I turned off direct messaging in Quora in the meantime, though mostly to avoid messages that are not a good use of my time.

,But the added benefit is that folks have to contact me through gmail, which I consider more secure because of two factor authentication (see below).

,Replace your PC with a Chromebook or MacBook.

Given the known and alleged problems with Windows, maybe consider a Chromebook or MacBook?,One possibility is that US intelligence (NSA, CIA, etc.

) has hacked or can hack you if they want, pretty much on any device, OS, site or app.

,And that these hacks will leak out so that other hackers can use them to hack you (including indirectly by hacking the apps and sites you use) and do bad things.

,As these hacks get revealed to the public, other hackers may start using the newly-unveiled hacks.

Like they did in the WannaCry debacle.

,Currently Windows seems to have more known security issues than other OS like on Macbooks and Chromebooks but that can easily change as more is revealed.

,CIAs Windows XP to Windows 10 malware: WikiLeaks reveals Athena | ZDNetActivate two-factor authentication but not SMS or phone calls.

Instead, use security keys and Authy.

,Use Multiple Security Keys (have backups).

u201cSMS two-factor is terrible.

Hackers can hack your phone and steal your SMS verification messages.

u201d said a friend (basically) who works in cybersecurity.

,He thinks hackers thought he owned a lot of Bitcoin.

He did not.

,But he does have customers such as the FBI.

Sometimes hackers target the wrong person.

,Some time later, articles like this start coming out in the mainstream media: Itu2019s Official: Using Text Messages to Secure Your Passwords Is a Bad Ideau201cSo what do you do then?u201d I asked my very smart friend.

,u201cHere, just buy this.

u201d My friend sends a link to something like this:,Amazon.

com: FIDO U2F Security Key: ElectronicsFor now, only Google and a couple other sites use two-step verification with security key.

,Yes I know you have to give Google your phone number to activate two-step verification.

,But after adding Google Authenticator or Security Key, you can remove your phone number and SMS as a second step.

,Use Authy (and its competitors for redundancy).

The Authy app is another way to do two-factor authentication.

The code expires every 30 seconds or so and you get a unique code for each site.

You might not be able to do this for some sites but some sites where you share a lot of personal information u2014 such as gmail u2014 give you the option to do two-factor authentication using Authy.

,Install anti-virus programs, history erasers, malware detectors, etc.

on all your devices.

Consider doing a factory reset on a device you use less than others and then not entering in any personal info.

No gmail, donu2019t log in to your Google account, donu2019t use Facebook.

Just use your device to consume news, music, videos, etc.

without having to login to anything.

,Compartmentalize emails, etc.

Consider having different devices and email accounts for different purposes.

For example, have different emails for newsletters you sign up for, random people you meet at events or parties.

Another for work.

Another for close friends and family.

,Aggressively report spam and phishing emails.

When a spammer keeps annoying me by sending spam via different email addresses, I just u2018report phishu2019 them.

Lifeu2019s short.

They are wasting my time and the filters arenu2019t working.

,Donu2019t open random emails.

Donu2019t open links to emails.

,Donu2019t donate to political campaigns.

If you do, they will pass your email around to u201csimilaru201d candidates and causes.

Youu2019ll be deleting and report-spamming political donation solicitation emails forever.

I wish I was kidding.

,If you donate to candidates or PACs for federal elected offices, the FEC requires that you list your legal name, address, occupation, etc.

,I have had friends donate through their spouses for privacy reasons (my friend was more public).

,If the DNC canu2019t protect their own emails (CIA Identifies Russians Who Gave DNC Emails to WikiLeaks), how do we know they can protect your credit card and other information properly?,Consider using Brave as your browser in private mode and Duck Duck Go as your search engine.

Consider doing less things on Google or Facebook, including using either to login to third party sites or apps.

,In the words of a law school friend, u201cLove all, trust none!u201d,Have accounts that are totally offline.

Credit unions may be good places to have an account with no online access.

My longtime friendu2019s bank account got hacked.

He banked at a big bank.

I loaned him several thousand dollars for several weeks while the bank took forever to return his money.

Which was FDIC-insured.

,Make your password much longer.

Just add a lot more characters.

And have different passwords for different key sites you use.

,Your password might not be as great as you think, by the way.

How to make strong passwords even stronger for World Password Day - Dashlane BlogConsider not using biometric authentication.

,Chaos Computer Clubs breaks iris recognition system of the Samsung Galaxy S8C,Consider LastPass, 1Password or other password manager.

Download and use Signal instead of texting.

Signal is more secure messaging to people you care about.

https://ssd.

eff.

org/en/module/how-use-signal-androidYou can make your messages with certain people disappear after a short time period.

,One potential problem is they announce to your contacts that you are using Signal.

,I also dislike how Signal makes it hard for me to label a phone number of a friend as u201cJane Doeu201d.

But for now, I havenu2019t heard of great substitutes.

,Yes, I know WhatsApp is supposed to be secure but I donu2019t fully trust Facebook.

,VPN.

Use a paid VPN for your mobile devices and your computers.

Hereu2019s a 2017 review on VPNs by PC Magazine (covers iOS, Android, MacOS, Linux, Firefox, Windows).

The Best VPN Services of 2017Among other things, this should make it safer for you to use the Wi-Fi at Starbucks, etc.

Howu2014and whyu2014you should use a VPN any time you hop on the internetUpdate your home router.

When was the last time you checked to see if your home router had an update you could or should make? Why You Should Upgrade Your Router (Even If You Have Older Gadgets)Use in-person meetings and phone calls more.

Besides being more human and richer in context to help minimize miscommunication, most people are not yet recording (including inadvertently we think) each other when we talk with one another in person or by phone.

,Consider using less Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri.

Possibly out of an abundance of caution, I have unplugged our Alexa Echo Dot temporarily when it was responding with jibberish even though neither my spouse nor I said u201cAlexau201d or - as far as we could tell - anything remotely close to Alexa (you have to say Alexa to activate Alexa.

If you have the Echo or Dot, by default it is always in u201cready to listenu201d mode where if you say Alexa, Alexa will listen for your instructions and u201cdo somethingu201d.

That makes me a bit paranoid that Amazon gets hacked or my Echo Dot gets hacked and hackers listen on everything weu2019re saying.

,Clear browsing data.

Whenever something weird happens or you visit too many sites, consider clearing your browsing data, including all cookies, cached images and files, browsing and download history.

,Ad blockers.

I use ad blockers a lot.

,I also subscribe to several things such as certain publications so I donu2019t feel bad (maybe I should).

,I donu2019t like the advertising model.

,Itu2019s based on collecting a lot of information about you and then showing things to sell you.

,Iu2019d rather online products, apps and sites just deliver real value and Iu2019ll just pay for it.

,Use PayPal.

Itu2019s safer than credit cards and, especially, debit cards.

,Cover the camera on your devices with tape.

Consider destroying the microphone on devices where you never or rarely use the mike.

Amazon.

com: Webcam Cover for Laptops/Pad Devices: Computers & AccessoriesFactory reset.

For a number of reasons unrelated to security, I wipe and do a factory reset on my phone and other devices periodically.

,But this has the added benefit of erasing my tracks and having fewer apps follow me around, etc.

,Stick to mainstream apps.

Donu2019t download unestablished startup apps.

They may be less secure and more hackable.

,Donu2019t give your credit card or bank information online unless it is super convenient for you.

Avoid startups.

Use PayPal.

,Donu2019t accept invites from strangers.

Does it really help you to have more friends on Facebook or more connections on LinkedIn? How?,Try not to open emails or attachments unless youu2019re sure they are from legitimate sources.

Recently the u201cCIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal, including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized zero day exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation.

This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.

u201d WikiLeaks docs allege CIA can hack smartphones, expose Frankfurt listening postLimit what you show.

On Facebook, etc.

, consider limiting who sees your marital status, children, significant other, birthday, etc.

online.

,Even the CIA director was hacked.

By a teenager.

,Periodically assess your security and privacy online.

,Take steps that are simple and low cost or free to protect yourself.

,Teen Who Hacked CIA Directoru2019s Email Tells How He Did ItAll that said, I am thinking about whether we live in a post-privacy era.

If privacy is dead, how do we adapt?