Preventing your Orkut/Facebook account from getting hacked

Security has become a very big issue these days. Especially when you're using any of those social networking sites like Orkut and Facebook. These two networking websites are mostly targeted because of which many people are staying away from them. Even after the high security features provided by these sites, hackers always try to find a hole using which they crack the site's security. Being among the topmost websites, the organisations are doing their best to provide enough security to several of their users. These hackers have proved themselves to be a step forward to the security features of the sites. Hence, it is always good to be aware of these attacks to keep your account safe from getting hacked. Here are a few suggestions to prevent your site from being hacked:

  1. Don't ever answer to a mail requesting for your password:

    This has been a very common trick and is probably getting old by now but people are sometimes getting fooled by assuming that the mail has come from a trusted entity which is why I am including this here. Before you even start reading such kind of emails, remember that no organization ever sends you a mail asking for your password. In fact, you're not supposed to provide any of your information(not even your username) in such mails. This type of attack is called Phishing. Here's what actually happens. The Sign in button in the page that is sent to your email consists of two links. One link points to the site and the other points to a location assigned by the hacker. When you actually click the Sign in button or the link, you're re-directed to the site like you would've expected but at the same time, the other link associated with the button points to the hacker's email or a remote site where your username and password are saved. So before you even think of reading such mails, remember the phishing attack discussed on virusdaddy.
  2. Avoid copy/pasting Javascript codes in your browser:

    That's another method of allowing the hacker get access to your personal information. Sometimes, the code given is so long that it might seem to take years to read and understand it. The hacker tells you that a santa claus would appear if you paste the given code into the browser. The code is actually written to obtain an access to your computer's web browser from which information can be stolen. This trend has just started to develop and it is always good to know about it before it affects your personal information. Next time, when you come across such topics, make sure you read the code to confirm if it actually works the way it is said to. If not, ignoring it would be a better choice to make.
  3. Set your passwords carefully:

    Set your password such that nobody can ever guess it right. Passwords like your name or phone number won't work. You'll just have to think harder while setting up a password. If the hacker actually knows you by person, he can easily try a guess and sometimes this works out pretty well. Make sure you use a password that cannot be easily guessed by the people around you. When a password contains atleast one number, one capital letter, one small letter and a symbol, only then the password is said to be uncrackable. Having any two of these is also sufficient to protect your account from getting hacked. Also use a very different and unexpected word as your password. For example, my password is the registration number of my monitor. It is stuck on d monitor but nobody can ever guess that it could be my actual password. This way, you can prevent about 40% of the hack attempts if you think your account is in the "most wanted" list.
  4.  Don't login from untrustworthy computers:

    I think you know what that means. Logging in from computers like the ones in some Internet cafes is dangerous since there is a possibility of the presence of programs like keyloggers in the computer. These keyloggers record your keystrokes and save them in a log file. At a scheduled time, the log file is automatically sent as a mail to the hacker. So by logging into your networking applications from such computers, you're actually making it easier for the hacker to get hold of your information. So next time, after you open your account from such places, make sure you change your password after getting back home.
  5. Stay away from applications asking your password:

    This method is more frequently used these days. Facebook or Orkut applications are created by the hacker promising the user a tempting service. Many hackers have been using this procedure and even though it is an evolved version of the phishing idea, I had to describe it separately since such phoney applications are the reasons for many hacked accounts. Most of such applications are already there on Orkut and the trend is slowly moving on to Facebook these days. So make it a point never to give your password to anything alive or dead!

These are the frauds that are in trend lately. So now it is clear that a hacker requires your help for hacking your account. Until you stay careful, your account is kept safe and secure. Orkut and Facebook have been trying a lot for providing the best security but still it would be better if we keep it safe from our side as well, right? This list is yet to be updated 'coz those hackers are definitely not going to stop right there. So remember these points before you think of trying out any such stuff next time.
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