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6 Ways You Can Be Hacked and How to Fight The Attacks

6 ways hackers can attack you

6 Ways You Can Be Hacked and How to Fight The Attacks

These days, most of our important transactions happen over the internet including our banking and payments. While an increasingly connected world makes our lives easier, it also poses great risks as we expose our personal data to cybercriminals or hackers.

Modern hackers have devised numerous ways to steal important data from our very own computers or mobile devices. And even if we are on the most notorious antivirus, these hackers still find a way to get to us and steal our information.

So what can we really do to stay protected against these cybercriminals? Is there still a safe space in the cyber realm where we can enjoy the power of the internet?

hackers are coming up with more ways on how they can hack people and being aware about these hacking methods can help you plan your security measures

Knowing how they can attack you and what you can do as a means of “first aid” can save you from destructive hacking. So we listed the six most common ways your data can be stolen and the precautions you can take to stay safe:

  1. Phishing

Phishing is a fake email masquerading as legitimate. Hackers create phishing emails through which they intend to steal your confidential information like passwords and bank account details. This kind of email appears to have come from a well-known person or organization like your bank or company that you work for. These emails generally try to create urgency or panic to trick users into giving out their personal details.

For example, you receive an email from your bank saying that your ATM card has been disabled and you need to confirm your card number to re-activate it. A victim who has received this email might think that it is from a legitimate source when in reality this email has been sent from a malicious hacker trying to steal your confidential information.

The phishing email might contain a link which on clicking will take you to a fake web page. For example, the link might take you to a fake bank website that looks very legitimate but in reality, is just a lookalike. If the victim falls for the scam and enters his/her account details on the website, the details will actually go to the hacker’s server instead of going to the bank and the hacker will have all the information that the victim has provided on the website.

How to stay safe

Look for spelling or grammatical errors in domain names or email addresses. Cybercriminals also often use email addresses that resemble the names of well-known companies but are slightly altered. For example, accounts@gmall.com instead of accounts@gmail.com (“l” instead of “i”).

Think twice before clicking any links. If you see a link in a suspicious email message, don’t click on it. Instead, hover your mouse on the link to see if the URL matches that were provided in the message.

Think twice before clicking any links. If you see a link in a suspicious email message, don’t click on it. Instead, hover your mouse on the link to see if the URL matches that were provided in the message.

Cybercriminals often use threats that your cybersecurity has been compromised or your account has been blocked. Don’t fall for such tricks. Take your time to assess the situation.

  1. Malware

Malware is malicious software that is written with the intent of compromising a system and stealing the data available on the system. These programs can perform a variety of functions some of which include stealing or deleting sensitive data, modifying the system’s core functionalities, and secretly tracking the victim’s activities. There are various factors that can lead to the installation of malware in your system. One is running an older or pirated version of an operating system that is not safe or updated and thus vulnerable to attacks. Clicking on unknown links or installing fake/pirated software can also lead to the downloading of malicious programs.

Major types of malware

  • Virus: A virus is a program that is capable of infecting software and disabling or modifying a system’s core functionality. It tends to replicate itself into data files, programs or the boot sector of a computer’s hard drive and making the files/system in0accessible.
  • Trojans: This type of malware tends to create backdoors in your security to let attackers monitor your activities remotely. It disguises itself as legitimate software or is included in legitimate software that has been tampered with.
  • Trojans: This type of malware tends to create backdoors in your security to let attackers monitor your activities remotely. It disguises itself as legitimate software or is included in legitimate software that has been tampered with.
  • Spyware: Spyware is a malware designed to spy on you. It hides in the background and tracks everything you do online, including your passwords, credit card numbers, surfing habits, and chats. It can record keystrokes or record videos of you from your webcam and even listen from your microphone.
  • Keylogger: This is a specific form of spyware that simply records the keys you type and where you type them. These logs are then sent to the attacker who can analyze them to find your passwords, chats, credit card numbers and much more.

How to stay safe

  • Use legitimate antivirus software.
  • Do not download any fake software as there are chances it may contain malware.
  • Never click on fake antivirus pop-ups that are generated from websites.
  • Always keep your operating system updated.
  • Never download pirated apps/software as they always contain some kind of malware
  1. Malicious mobile apps

There is a big misconception that every app available on Google Playstore or Apple store is safe and legitimate. However, this is not the case. Not every app available in these stores is safe for users. Some of these apps may contain malicious code that can put your privacy at risk.

The malicious apps may contain a code snippet that can install malware on your device. Besides this, the app may ask for unnecessary permissions that hackers may misuse to extract critical data including your contacts, messages, and media.

It is advised to look out for the following permissions as they can be misused by an application:

  • Accounts access: It helps collect crucial data including contact lists and e-mail addresses.
  • SMS permission: It can be used to send SMSs to premium-rate numbers and drain out your balance.
  • Microphone access: It can record phone conversations.
  • Device admin permission: It can help a hacker take remote control of your phone, track it live and even wipe it remotely.
  • Contacts: It can help a hacker steal your contacts and sell it to ad networks.

How to stay safe

  • Always check the permissions before downloading an app.
  • Check reviews and ratings.
  • Avoid downloading an app if it has less than 50,000 downloads.
  • Do not download apps from third-party app stores.
  • Never download pirated/cracked apps.
  1. Smishing

Smishing is a form of phishing in which someone tries to trick you into giving them your private information via a phone call or SMS message. Smishing is becoming an emerging and growing threat in the world of online security.

How it can compromise your data

Smishing uses elements of social engineering to get you to share your personal information. This tactic leverages your trust in order to obtain your information. The information an attacker is looking for can be anything from an online password to your bank account details or OTPs to gain access to your accounts. Once the hacker has your required data, he can use it for various attacks.

Messages sometimes also come with shortened links with luring offers and deals that when clicked, install malware on your devices.

How to stay safe?

Don’t share any critical information over a phone call or SMS.

Always verify the identity of the message before clicking links in it. If you receive a message saying it’s from a person you know and asks for critical data, call the person on his number stored in your phone and verify if he has really requested the data.

  1. Physical security threats

A physical threat is any threat to your sensitive information that results from other people having direct physical access to your devices like laptops, hard drives, and mobile devices.

Physical security threats are often underestimated in favor of technical threats such as phishing and malware. Physical device threats occur when someone is able to physically gain access to your confidential data like data gathered from stolen devices.

Physical security breaches can happen at your workplace or even at your home. For example, someone could get hold of your confidential files that they are not supposed to see or access an unattended system that is not password-protected.

How to stay safe?

  • Be careful about how you store confidential information. Use encrypted computer hard drives, USBs, etc if they contain sensitive information.
  • Never write your passwords on a post-it or notepad.
  • Never leave your system unattended. Always protect it with a strong password.
  • Don’t leave your phone unlocked and unattended.
  • Make sure proper backup and remote wipe services are enabled in case you lose your device.
  1. Insecure networks

Connecting your system or device to an insecure network can create the possibility of a hacker gaining access to all the files on your system and monitoring your activity online. A hacker in control of your system can steal passwords of your social accounts, bank accounts and even inject malware on authentic websites that you trust. With programs freely available on the Internet, anyone can sit in a car outside your home and access your critical files, accounting data, usernames, and passwords, or any other information on the network. A competitor in possession of such in-depth knowledge of your official documents can be a damaging or even fatal threat to your business.

Connecting to a “free” airport/coffee shop WiFis is dangerous especially when you are carrying out critical activities online such as banking, private conversation or even browsing your email. These networks are often left unprotected which can allow a malicious hacker in the same shop/region to snoop on you easily.

How to stay safe?

Never connect to open Wi-Fi networks that you can’t trust. Just because it’s free, it doesn’t mean it’s safe too. When in a cafe with a Wi-Fi facility, ask the staff for the Wi-Fi you can connect to instead of randomly connecting to any open network.

If you are using public Wi-Fi, avoid performing any bank transactions or accessing any critical information while being connected.
Use strong encryption like WPA2 on your home and office WiFi router instead of Open or WEP security as these can easily be hacked.

Conclusion

 

An antivirus is a program which can protect you from simple hacking techniques

Your security is in your own hands. Stay cautious and alert at all times. Always remember, someone, somewhere is trying to hack you and basic security practices mentioned above can protect you from most hacks. Start your security methods with the installation of antivirus on your devices. Choose the strongest and update the program regularly. This way, you can at least detect where hackers are trying to make their point of attack and will be able to strategize on how to strengthen security in that area.

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