By: Allison Morris from OnlineCollegeCourses

With practically our whole lives stored online, it's no wonder 3 in 4 Americans have been or will be the victim of cyber crime. According to "Hacked," an info graphic posted, in one year, about $1 trillion in intellectual property was stolen worldwide. In fact, over the last 12 months, it's estimated that 90% of businesses had their computer systems hacked, and 77% were hacked more than once.

In addition to large companies, universities are also a target for hackers, given their large student databases. In 2012, more than 100 universities had students' personal information stolen. These include prestigious schools such as Harvard, Cambridge, Stanford, Princeton, and more. The personal information obtained from these databases can then be sold on illegal trading sites and may be used by marketers.

Mobile apps and social networking accounts are also commonly hacked. In fact, about 600,000 Facebook accounts are hacked each day, or about seven every second. As for apps, 92% of the top paid apps for iOS have been hacked. This figure was 100% for Android. Hacking apps allows cyber criminals to disable security, create pirated copies, or replace the app with a malware-infected version.

So with hacking running rampant, how can you protect yourself? The best course of action is to create a strong password. Do not use a password that is easily guessed, such as 123456 or abc123. Even a personalized password of six lowercase letters can be cracked by a hacker in approximately 10 minutes. Instead, it is best to choose a password that has a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, it is smart to change up your passwords from account to account. That way, if one is compromised, hackers can't have a field day with the rest of your accounts.

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