How to protect personal information from hackers

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DENVER -- Ever since the start of the internet, people have been uploading their personal information. And hackers have been trying to steal it.

“This isn't a new revelation,” said Webroot senior threat research analyst Tyler Moffitt. “We've had tons and tons of hacks of hundreds of millions of accounts for years now.”

This goes back to the massive Yahoo hack in 2013 that involved 3 billion users, the Equifax hack in 2017 where 153 million people’s personal information was stolen and just last week, the MyFitnessPal Under Armour hack of 150 million accounts.

“It's the inherent risk that people have if they want to conduct themselves online and use these services that we are in tune with daily life,” Moffitt said.

Moffitt is not surprised more hackings are happening more often, with more information being stolen.

Nearly 80 percent of American adults now have a smartphone.

Most of them are loaded with apps. Whether you realize it or not, they're taking your information 24/7, especially if you choose to log onto them through Facebook or another account.

“You're giving all of your information on Facebook over to that that company, which is going to profile you and use that for advertising and potentially -- with whoever they're affiliated with --share that info to further data mine,” Moffitt said.

That means sharing a digital life with an unlimited number of companies that are all susceptible to hacking.

To avoid sharing data and personal information, Moffitt recommends setting up app accounts individually. As easy as it is, don't link through Facebook or another account.

Use different passwords and not the same one repeatedly.

Go to the smartphone’s settings and turn off what information is shared. The fewer apps there are, the less they know about you, and the less likely you'll be to getting your information hacked.

Be careful with free apps. They’re usually free because they sell the information they collect from smartphones.

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