Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Beware! This is How Hackers Steal Your Data

Technology is getting advanced and we are relying on it more than ever. Our computers and mobile devices store a lot of personal and sensitive data. 

You should always be vigilant and take precautions to keep your data safe from hackers. These days hackers have developed many methods to steal your data. If you are not aware of these methods you might end up giving your data to hackers.

In this article, I am going to describe the most common ways hackers try to steal your data so that you could be one step ahead of them.

1. Phishing:

Phishing is the most common method that many hackers use to trap you. This is one of the oldest methods and many people fall into this trap and end up handing over their personal information to hackers.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a method where the hacker sends you emails or messages on social media with a link. They always try to make the message very tempting to make your click the link. The most common types of emails or messages that phishing includes are-

    Mail about huge discounts on popular eCommerce websites.

    Hackers will pose as an agent of your bank.

    Emails or social media messages about blocking your debit/credit card.

These emails or messages will contain a link and the message will prompt you to click on the link. And this is where you fall into the trap, the link contains malware that will enter your computer without your knowledge.

So, whenever you receive an email from an unknown source then don’t click it. Sometimes the URL text seems genuine like amazon.com but it is linked to a rogue website that will download malware on your computer. 

To know the website that the text is linking to, just hover your mouse over the text and you will see the website address at the bottom left corner of your computer.


2. Mobile Apps

Nowadays apps have increased the usability of mobiles. There are many apps available in different categories i.e. entertainment, education, payment, etc. These mobile apps have become a powerful weapon for hackers to take control of your mobiles and steal your sensitive data.

Once you install such apps these will ask you to give permission on your phone and if you give them permission you fall into their trap.

Sometimes the apps are so advanced that they will steal your data even if you don’t give them permission.

How to safeguard your data from such apps: 

    Don’t download any app outside of Google Play Store.

    Block download from third-party sources using the settings on your phone...

    Never give unnecessary permissions to any app.

    Only keep apps that are useful and trustworthy.

    Don’t download apps from untrustworthy sources.

    Never enter your details in any unrecognized app.

    Install an advanced antivirus app.

    Frequently scan your mobile for threats.

    Remove all the unknown apps from your mobile.

    Don’t download any file especially.apk from unreliable sources.

As we know the use of apps is inevitable in today’s world, we just need to take extra precautions before downloading an app and giving permission to it.


3. Offline Threats

Offline threats are the ones when someone steals your data through your USB ports. This is a type of threat that most people underestimate. Office PCs are more prone to this threat. In the office, you leave your computer unattended many times like when you go to meetings or when your boss calls you or when you go home.

Offline Threats

Image Source: amazon

When you leave your Laptop or PC unattended someone cloud injects malware or virus into your computer and gains access to your data. So, you should always keep your USB ports locked. You can disable your USB ports using windows settings and even you can use software to lock USB ports. You can also use USB locker hardware to keep your USB ports protected.


4. Juice Jacking:

Juice jacking is another easy way for hackers to attack your device.

What is Juice Jacking?

When you are traveling and find that your device is discharged. In this situation, you use a public USB charging port at hotels, train stations, airports, etc. These charging stations could be malicious. Hackers could load malware into your device through these charging ports.

 Juice Jacking:

Image Source: techcrunch.com

Next time you go out don’t forget to charge your device so, you don’t have to rely on these public charging stations. Read more about juice jacking.

5. Unsafe Networks/Free Public Networks

Free wi-fi access seems pleasing when you go to a coffee shop, airport, or any other public place. You gladly connect your device with that network and perform many activities on your mobile or PC. 

These free networks could be insecure. Using these networks hackers can inject malware into your PC and record every action that you perform. Once malware is installed on your PC, it will start sending your information to the hackers. Using the malware, hackers could get access to your password and other sensitive details like banking information, social media credentials, etc.

So, you should not connect your device to free public wi-fi or any other unsafe network.

These were the most common and easiest ways for hackers to enter your device. A slight mistake could cause a lot of loss. There are many other ways to lose your data because hacking is getting more advanced than ever. The best way to keep your device protected is don’t fall into any alluring, easy-to-access free service.

Some Other Precautions You Should Take To Safeguard your Data:

    Don’t click on any link that you don’t trust- even those WhatsApp messages that offer free recharge.

    Don’t download any file from the unknown, malicious-looking website.

    Always have a robust antivirus program installed on your device.

    Always use good passwords for your accounts. Include numbers, special characters, and uppercase-lowercase combinations in your passwords.

    Avoid saving passwords to your browsers.

    Don’t enter your bank or card details on unknown websites. Only shop from trustworthy websites.

    Don’t give your personal information to imposters like fake bank agents, insurance agents, etc. Your bank never asks for your personal information on the call.

You should always keep in mind that nothing is free in the world, everything comes with a price. Greed of one free service could cost you a lot.