When you hear about a hack, the first thing that comes to your mind is, "How can I prevent this from happening to me?" There are so many answers to this question. They range from ensuring that your passwords are hard to guess, to using a VPN in certain situations. However, you’re not as protected as you think. There are things that hackers and cybercriminals know that you don’t. These things could very well be the difference between a secure system and a highly vulnerable one. Here are four of them:

Hackers try to hack you both online and offline.

Everyone thinks of protecting themselves from a hack online, but did you know that many cybercriminals operate offline, too? You can still lose your data and personal information if you don't log on to malicious websites or open strange attachments.

A simple phone call from someone who claims to be from your bank may be all it takes to get your credit card information and drain your account. Hackers can also attack you via card acquiring services and Bluetooth. Anyone within the know-how can inflict serious damage to your security if they get within ten meters of your phone. This is why you should always set your Bluetooth to non-discoverable.

Lazy people are a hacker’s best friend.

Lazy people are every thief’s best friend. People who forget to lock their doors or turn on their alarms are basically laying out a welcome mat for burglars. In the same vein, people who set lazy passwords like birthdays and pet names are the victims of many security breaches. As a rule of thumb, the more valuable your information, the more paranoid you need to be.

Don't be afraid of making your password 16 characters long (double the recommended length) and riddled with numbers and special characters. If it's hard for you to memorize, it will be even harder to guess. Most people ignore security warnings.

When trying to retrieve information online, most people will ignore their browser’s warning about a website’s security and visit it anyway. Many times, the website’s admin just needs to upgrade its security protocol. But then, sometimes, you've just visited a phishing site, and every information collected can be used to steal from you.

Only share information with websites that you trust and that you’re familiar with. When buying from an e-commerce website, ensure that you recognize the e-commerce merchant account when you check out. If you don’t, you should think twice about buying from them.

They love to listen to you.

Discussing personal details with strangers is one of the worst things you can do for your personal security. If you’re one of the people who love to use personal information in passwords, even better for hackers. The increased rate of cybercrime demands that you be careful with the amount of information you give away.

This also applies to social media, where you share pictures with geotags and your itinerary for the week. Disable geotagging on your phone, so that strangers won’t know where you are and how to hack you offline.