9 Ways You’ll Get Hacked
Chances are, if you ask around, it won’t be difficult to find someone who’s been hacked. The truth is, today, one in four online accounts gets hacked!
There’s a cyberwar happening between hackers and everyone else, and unfortunately, hackers are winning. To make matters worse, most of us keep more personal information online than we may realize.
Think about it. Between your personal and work emails, social media accounts and cloud storage, it’s more than likely you have things like your address, social security number and credit card information saved online.
If you want to get ahead in the battle to protect your information from hackers, whether it’s avoiding getting you email hacked or your Dropbox hacked, the first step is understanding how they may get access to it in the first place. Here are the top nine ways you’ll get hacked.
1. Phishing Sites
Phishing sites look like any regular, legitimate website, but they were created with the purpose
of stealing your information. You won’t know you’re at a phishing site because it looks identical to the real thing, so you’ll go ahead and enter your login credentials. You’ll then see an error message before the site reloads, this time directing you to the real website. At that point, you’ll already have given hackers your login information.
2. Phishing emails
Phishing emails work just like phishing sites. Even professionals can have difficulty telling them apart from legitimate emails, which makes protecting yourself that much more difficult. These emails work by including a link that prompts you to update your login credentials or provide other information. That link directs to a phishing site that looks just like the real thing, but isn’t. Once you’ve logged in there, you’ve handed hackers a way into your account.
Malware is malicious software that piggybacks on popular software applications in order to
steal your information. File sharing sites are laden with malware-infected files, so if you download from there, you’re almost guaranteed to get infected.
4. Open WiFi networks
Nowadays, it’s common for public places like bookstores, coffee shops, restaurants and more to
offer patrons access to WiFi networks for their personal use. Many people who frequent the same place regularly may even have their devices auto-connect to that network when it’s in the vicinity. But public routers have often been breached, such that anything you send over that open WiFi network can easily be accessed by hackers.
5. Zero-day exploits
Security professionals don’t always have a handle on everything that’s happening with their systems. Zero-day exploits are gaps in online defense systems that they don’t know about, but that hackers have discovered. They can use these gaps to infect your device with malware and steal your personal data.
6. Brute force hacking
Brute force hacking describes an attack through which a computer runs through every possible combination of characters in a potential password until they find yours. This is why using complex passwords containing capital letters, numbers and symbols is recommended, and even required by many online services. The more complicated the password, the more difficult your account is to break into.
7. Stolen password files
Using complex passwords may protect you from brute force hacking, but when hackers steal a service provider’s password files, there’s little you can do beyond changing your password ASAP. While it may seem rare, this type of attack happens more often than we’d like. As a best practice to protect yourself from this type of attack, change your passwords regularly.
8. Password lists
Password lists include thousands of passwords that have been collected by hackers from breached accounts over periods of time. These lists may include common passwords as well as slightly more complex ones, and they’re used by hackers in an attempt to break into your accounts. If your password is on these lists, you’re on your way to becoming a victim of hacking.
9. Social engineering
Social engineering may take hackers the most amount of time and energy, but that doesn’t stop them. This method involves hackers pretending to be you, and calling an online service provider’s support center in an attempt to retrieve your login credentials and access your information. Unfortunately, they can sometimes succeed with little more than a single piece of information about you they’ve already obtained, and some guesswork.
What can you do about this today?
Perhaps now more than ever, it’s crucial to take a hands-on approach regarding your privacy and the security of your personal data and online accounts (Gmail, Facebook, Dropbox, etc.). Fortunately, you can use a number of freely available tools to help better protect your personal information. Here are a few suggestions:
- Get an antivirus solution for both your PC and phone. Check out these recommendations for the Best Free PC Antivirus Software and Top 5 Android Security Apps.
- Never reuse the same password across multiple online accounts, and always make sure you use strong passwords that include letters, numbers, and at least one symbol. To keep track of your passwords and keep them safe and secure, use a password manager like LastPass or PasswordBox.
- Use two-factor authentication on all of your accounts to enhance security.
- Get LogDog, a free anti-hacking app. It protects your personal data and valuable accounts (Gmail, Facebook, Yahoo and more) and alerts you to any suspicious activity so you can take control of your account before a hacker does.
The service can be used across all devices and OS’s, so you’re always being protected. Here’s the Android and iOS links for you to check out.
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