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The Motherboard Guide to Not Getting Hacked

Motherboard Staff

Publisher:  VICE
Date Written:  15/11/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article

Do you want to stop criminals from getting into your Gmail or Facebook account? Are you worried about the cops spying on you? Motherboard Staff have answers on how to protect yourself. This is Motherboard's comprehensive guide to digital security, which will be regularly updated and replaces some of our old guides. This guide is also available as a printable PDF.



Hackers steal hundreds of millions of passwords in one swoop and occasionally cause large-scale blackouts. The future is probably not going to get better, with real-life disasters caused by internet-connected knick-knacks, smart home robots that could kill you, flying hacker laptops, and the dangers of hackers getting your genetic data. Meanwhile, an ever-growing and increasingly passive surveillance apparatus that has trickled down to state and local police is an ever-present threat to our digital privacy.

That doesn't mean it's hopeless out there. There are lots of things you can do to make it much more difficult for hackers or would-be surveillers to access your devices and accounts, and the aim of this guide is to give you clear, easy-to-follow steps to improve your digital security. There are, broadly speaking, two types of hacks: Those that are unpreventable by users, and those you can generally prevent. We want to help you mitigate the damage of the first and prevent the second from happening.

You, as an individual user, can't do anything to prevent your email provider, or the company that holds your financial details, from getting hacked. But you can avoid phishing attacks that will let a hacker get into your individual email account, and you can also prevent a password obtained in a larger hack from being reused on another, separate account you have.

This guide isn't comprehensive and it's not personalized; there is no such thing as "perfect security" and there are no one-size-fits all solutions. Instead, we hope this will be a jumping-off point for people looking to batten down the hatches on their digital lives.

That’s why we’ve tried to keep this guide as accessible as possible, but if you run into any lingo you don’t know, there’s a glossary at the end of this guide to help out.


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