Hacker’s Helper: How to protect your identity from the other side

Who better to learn how to defend against internet hacking and computer privacy than from a person who has lived and breathed it from the other side?

Those individuals, known as “hackers” have found their way to the greener on the other side and have opted to help the good guys in the fight against theft of identity, and aren’t afraid to show the general public the ins and outs of what they should be doing to protect themselves.

This real life “Catch Me If You Can” centers on the same premise of the movie. Someone figured out how to beat the system, and then decides that after he’s been caught, he’ll help out the authorities.

Whether you’ve seen the movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the check fraud expert to Tom Hank’s FBI agent character isn’t as important as how much you can potentially learn about protecting your own well being thanks to what were once hackers hell bent on getting your information, too.

For starters, you can’t overlook emails and texts as a means to get to you faster and more conveniently for someone who hacks these accounts as a profession. Some personal emails and texts are now being forced through software that encrypts them so that the only person who can view it is the intended recipient. Hackers suggest that this software be commonplace, but it can only work if both you and the recipient are using it. For texts, you simply have to find an encryption app that you both can agree upon.

The internet, as you’d expect, is where most of your missteps will occur. Aside from the obvious of using WiFi that isn’t password protected, you also might want to consider not just where you browse online but how you do it.

You can install software that sets privacy options so you can block sites from tracking visits and thus having a better understanding of what you’re doing while you’re online, specifically things that would involve personal information and data, like banking or buying.

Overall, an encrypted connection with all your web browsing would be the best and most viable option. This takes away the web address to site connection and adds to it an encryption so that all that you’re doing isn’t available for the viewing pleasure of a hacker or someone interested in your information. This often is commonly referred to as a VPN network, and while there’s a charge to have this service it pales in comparison to what life would be like with a bank account that is missing thousands or an email account you can’t access because someone other than you changed the password.

If you can’t beat them (hackers), just hope they join you, the victim of fraud, in the fight against those who are trying everything and anything to get your information at their fingertips. The good guys got some much needed help so take advantage of the advice those who “flipped” will figure to give you.