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Tips to protect personal data from hackers

Large corporations aren’t the only ones who need to protect themselves from hackers. So some local security entrepreneurs offered advice on how avoid the most common errors individuals make online:

■  Organize: First up, group your passwords by function — social media, financial information, work — and use a different approach for creating passwords within each group. That way, if a hacker figures out your Facebook password, he won’t be just clicks away from your bank account.

■  Customize: It’s old news that your password shouldn’t be an obvious word (like “password”) or a pet’s name. Chris Doggett, managing director of Kaspersky Lab in Woburn, suggests going a step further and customize passwords by using rules known only to you. For example, you might add the first letter of the site’s name to the middle of the password. You will end up with passwords that are easy to remember but hard to crack.


■  Analyze: Before you click on or download anything, make sure you know exactly what you are doing. Do you know and trust the source? Does it have a valid security certificate? Tempting free games or fun apps are often just a hiding place for malware that will steal essential data.

Sarah Shemkus