Hackers continually work on new ways of infiltrating the systems of Internet users. There are, however, many ways in which users can protect their computers - and give hackers a hard time in the process. Here are some of these ways.

Anti-Virus Software - Though not enough on its own, this software does help to spot malicious behaviour; detect known malware and check unknown files/ URLs for reputation/ black-listing.

DLP (Data Loss Prevention) Software - Whether as part of a security suite or as a stand-alone, DLP alerts users to the fact that data - from card numbers to entire databases - are being removed from the system/ going out over the Internet. While hackers will attempt to bypass this software, it will make life more difficult for them and is subsequently a great extra layer of protection.

Encryption - Encrypting sensitive/ confidential data - such as proprietary information, intellectual property, and so on - renders this data useless to hackers even if they manage to access it.

Firewall - Even if a corporate firewall is in action, personal firewalls - included in the vast majority of desktop operating systems - should be used to protect against potential threats that have already infiltrated the network.

Password Manager - Long and random passwords are vital, but often impossible to remember. Password managers generate such passwords, store them in encrypted databases and enter them when appropriate after a master password has been entered by the user. This, by the way, also assists in the protection against phishing sites.

Update Management - Hackers often use vulnerabilities in both operating systems and applications to hack into systems. Regular updates/ patches to deal with these vulnerabilities are therefore vital. Using update management software ensures updates/ patches are applied automatically and may even point out vulnerabilities for which no patches exist as yet.

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