Alert Africa | How to protect your devices

How to protect your devices

General Tips


Encrypt your devices (computers and mobiles that support encryption) as this helps to keep your information and device safe in the event that someone gets ahold of your devices since it essentially scrambles the data on your device and will only unscrmble that data once a password / passphrash that’s (hopefully) only known by you is entered.

Defending against ransomware:

Ransomware like Cryptolocker can be harmful to individuals and companies alike. Some companies have paid alot of money in ransom due to these types of malicious softwares. You can find out more info and help about decrypting your files here

Using Public WiFi


Online Banking

Never do online banking on public Wi-Fi
Hackers can intercept your banking transaction by using certain techniques. Unless you use a VPN (more on this later)


Never login to any site that uses HTTP instead of HTTPS when using public Wi-Fi; in fact, even when not using public Wi-Fi.

For an added layer of security, you should always use 2FA (2 factor authentication) for all your online accounts that support it. (Gmail, Facebook, etc).

2 Factor Authentication is a mechanism that allows 2 forms of authentication when logging in to online services .e.g. you input your password and then get a code via SMS that you have to input.

Get a VPN

The most secure way to browse on a public network is to use a VPN . A VPN routes your traffic through a secure network even on public Wi-Fi.

Anti Virus Software

Always have an updated Anti-Virus running on your computer AND mobile device. An Anti-Virus won’t guarantee that you won’t be hacked, and hackers can bypass Anti-Viruses, but it’s still better to have one that not to have one.

Automatically Connecting to Wi-Fi Hotspots

Most devices, computers and mobiles, are set or have settings that allow them to connect automatically to Wi-Fi hotspots. While this provides a certain level of convenience, it can also pose as a risk.

Hackers can easily set-up a fake Wi-Fi hotspot with the same name as the one you use and your mobile or you, could connect to it; everything would work normally, only in this case, the hacker will be able to monitor what you are doing online.

Turn Off Wi-Fi when not in use

Turn off Wi-Fi on your devices when not in use (including Bluetooth). Your devices are always sending out Wi-Fi probes for Access Points it has connected to before. Hackers often set-up a rogue AP (Access Point) with the same name that your devices is ‘calling out to’ and your device connects to it.

Again, purely through your Wi-Fi probes, a hacker can easily triangulate where you live, where you work or where you have been. So turn it off when not in use.

Turn on Your Firewall

If you are using a laptop, turn on your firewall. A firewall will keep track and monitor all incoming and out-going connections to and from your computer.

Sharing (Turn it off)

You may share your music library, printers or files, or even allow remote login from other computers on your Wi-Fi network. Unless you disable these settings before connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, anyone else in the vicinity may be able to hack into your PC.