Have you Googled yourself lately?

Picture this.

You wake up one day, flick on Sunrise, and Kochie is in a flap:

“Overnight the internet was hit with the biggest coordinated data hack in history. Everyone is exposed”, he warns.

You whip out your phone and check your accounts, but it’s too late:

All your secrets have already been flushed out into the world: all your (private) messages, all your (private) photos, all your passwords, all your credit card and bank details … everything is out there.

Here’s you: “Yeah … nah. That is not gonna happen.”

Here’s me: “I have three words for you: Jeff. Freaking. Bezos.”

Word has it that the wealthiest person on the planet clicked a dodgy WhatsApp link that hacked his phone.

The result?

The internet got to see a pic of a very different type of ‘package’ that Jeff had delivered to his girlfriend.

(Suffice to say the old boy was Amazon ‘Primed’.)

Here’s the point: Bezos has built a trillion-dollar internet business. Yet even he got hacked.

Right now your kids are swiping at your phone with their grubby, jam-stained fingers, poking around at one of the hundred apps you’ve downloaded and long forgotten about.

So the question is: are you feeling lucky, punk?

I’m not.

And you shouldn’t either: according to the Government’s Australian Cyber Security Centre, Australians are reporting cybersecurity incidents every 10 minutes — and in 2018 almost one in three Australian adults was affected by cybercrime.

So here are three things that I do to avoid getting hacked.

Dumpster Diving

I have a rotary phone, a fax machine, a pager on my belt, and a CB-radio in my ute.

I’m joking.

(Alright, so I do have the CB in my ute, but that’s none of your damn business, Victor Charlie, Charlie).

While you’d think going to the olden days may save you from being hacked, the truth is it’s even more dangerous: the easiest way to steal your identity is not to hack into your computer … it’s to simply fish through your rubbish bin.

So I do whatever I can to stop receiving snail mail, and instead get everything emailed instead. When I went full digital, I scanned all the old mail I had lying around — and destroyed it. (On the farm we have an incinerator … but if you’re in a more urban setting a $40 shredder from Officeworks is fine.)

Always Use Protection

On all my accounts I’ve turned on two-factor authentication (Google it). I also use Dashlane to securely store my passwords, Malwarebytes to protect my computer, and TunnelBear as a VPN (to keep web browsing secure). For about $100 a year, it’s cheap insurance.

Also, my social media accounts don’t give away my location. (Unlike Terry the Tosser: “Here we are in Mykonos #richlife” … and back in Melbourne your house is getting robbed, #thuglife.)

Stay Alert

I have a premium alert service set up on my credit file (and given I have no credit, it shouldn’t be dinging too much). However, if you get scammed, your credit file is one of the first places it will show up, as scammers apply for credit in your name.

Here’s the deal: you don’t have to be mega-rich to be scammed — in this interconnected world, we’re all targets.

So don’t wait for the big hack to come to realise you weren’t covered.

Because, as the Amazon founder himself will tell you: 

There’s no returns policy once your junk is on the internet.

Tread Your Own Path!