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Common methods hackers use to steal information

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Why would anyone want my personal information when I'm nobody”, well, the answer is: identity theft. While the masses might be concerned about big data collection, it’s our sensitive information that we have to look out for. We might feel safe with holograms embedded in our ID, or take pride in the fact that we never expose our pin or credit card in public, the fact is that when you’re on the internet, sometimes, all they need is your login information.

Phishing

Beware of the links sent through emails, because you might just click on one that’s fishing for your information. If you receive an urgent email that incites panic, the first thing you want to do is to take a step back and evaluate the situation. Most hackers and scammers rely on fear in order to get what they want. When their victims panic, it’s when they drop their defenses. Regardless of whether the email comes from a bank or your best friend, always double check by contacting them through another platform.

So, if you receive something alarming through your email, call your bank and ask for clarification, or if it’s from a friend, you could always call just to confirm.

Most phishing emails make up stories that prompt their victims to act irrationally, such as following a link to a website that’s set up to look like their bank’s in order to steal their login details. Again, we are often lulled into a false sense of security by 2-step verification, but many people use the same password for their accounts and having that password gives hackers a key insight into your thinking patterns - which is why it’s much more important to use a password generator than to use phrases that you come up with.

Smishing

Phishing can take place on social media as well, and it’s called smishing, and it’s often used in conjunction with phishing or when the scammer already has your private information and is now looking to obtain your OTPs in order to gain access to your accounts. Always be aware of suspicious links and messages. Sometimes you might receive tempting offers or promotions, but if it doesn’t come from a legitimate source (you can check on the company’s website), ignore it.

Malware

Another common method to obtain private information is simply by inserting a bug into the victim’s computer. Not only will the hacker receive all the information that’s already on your PC, they will also be able to track your movements. Spyware can also listen from your microphone and record you from your webcam, which is why if you have a built-in webcam, you might want to keep it covered.

To prevent bugs from infecting your software, you will need antivirus software. Many of these require a subscription but that’s the price of security. Furthermore, you should also keep your operating system updated because patches and updates are a way to stay on top of vulnerabilities.

About The Authors

Tyrese Griffin

Tyrese Griffin - Tyrese started her education in the performing arts at the prestigious Alexander Hamilton Academy in Los Angeles. She returned to civilian life after serving in the United States Army as a tracked vehicle operator, and started writing short stories and screenplays, as well as directing short films and music videos. She has published six novels, which have sold over 200,000 copies, as well as audiobooks and short stories for anthologies, and has earned several awards.

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