Look. I don't care who you are or how good you think you've secured your data online. If you are connected to the internet, you are at risk. No two ways around it. The habits that I've seen floating around are only making this situation worse. Here's five of them that need to stop
Number 5: Passwords
You think people would've learned by now. Most of the time, a password is the only thing gate keeping your precious accounts. For the love of god, just why would you make it something like "abc123". These days, it's incredibly easy to crack someone's account, and most of the time it's because the password is given almost no thought to. The wide assortment of cracking tools online render the job as seamless as making a PB and J sandwich. The fact that most passwords only seem to contain lowercase letters and numbers is just worsening the case, as these are understandably the easiest to crack. Use some uppercase, add symbols, mix it up for god's sake. Remember, once they get your password, there isn't much that can be hidden. Fix those damn passwords.
Number 4: Not Using 2FA
This will be piggy-backing off the first one a bit. But let's say someone DOES get into your accounts. There is one more defense that most people don't deploy. 2 Factor Authentication, or 2FA for short. It will send a code to your phone upon the entering of your password, and if you enter that code correctly, only then you have access to your account. It's obvious to see why this would be essential to deploy in all of your accounts, yet no one does it. Like I said, all someone needs is 1 account. From there, they can get access to all of the rest. If everyone who had the easy passwords just enabled 2FA, their accounts might still be safe. But they didn't, and their accounts go into all the databases. I cannot stress this enough. Enable 2FA, and suffer infiniately less stress.
Number 3: Carelessly Giving Away Information Online
Most people have this under control. But every once in a while, you get a blabbermouth who doesn't know when to shut up. You get his whole travel plan, city where he resides, close friends, maybe even a social media account, all in one short text chain. Now, if you were someone actively looking for that information, this would be a gold mine. He, however, would be screwed. It goes without saying that you shouldn't give out your personal info to people that you don't know. Seems like common sense, but some people go above and beyond in their messages and profiles. The less information of you out there, the better. Don't make it any worse for yourself.
Number 2: Not Having A Decent AV
Windows Defender won't cut it. It's good, but it's not what's needed. The Digital Age has given way to better and more powerful exploitation systems, and the standard AV coming with your PC just will not be enough. People stuck with the stock AV are usually the first ones whose systems are taken advantage of, and eventually made useless. If you had a decent AV, it all could be avoided extremely easily. Some AVs that I personally recommend are AVAST, Kaspersky, and ESET. These are both extremely reliable as an Antivirus option, and are renown for their ability to stop incoming malware. Get these, and you really do not have to worry about your computer being affected anymore.
Number 1: Disregarding a VPN
In today's world, masking your IP address is a neccesecity. Your IP grants access to your IRL location, and that leads into a whole host of other things, none of which good for you. People disregard having a proper VPN service due to the fact that they aren't a "hacker". News flash, people: VPNs aren't just for the tech savvy. With the amount of people actively hunting for your information, a VPN might be just the thing that ends up saving you. A VPN that I personally reccomend is NORDVPN. It's one of the best on the market, and yeah it costs some money. If you aren't sure about the price, try their free trial. It's...well, free, obviously, and by the end you will probably come to see the actual price as worth it.