Monday, August 8, 2016

Top Ways People End Up Getting Hacked and how to stay safe ?

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Getting Hacked
In this day and age, internet users are under constant threats from hackers and cybercriminals. Additionally, said users know very little of the precautions that need to be taken in order to protect themselves. As difficult as it may sound, it is really entirely impossible and extremely simple for internet users to protect their presence online, and it can be made simpler if one is aware of the most common ways people end up getting hacked. Keeping this in mind, here are the top 5 ways that hackers mostly resort to in order to victimize internet users.
Brute Force Attack
It is important to note that cracking a password as simple as '12345' can take no more than a second, so it really does not come as a surprise at all that hackers rely on brute force attacks to get access to confidential information and files. Seeing how people, including Mark Zuckerberg, tend to use simple passwords,hacking becomes a breeze that is unless users start using stronger passwords and avoiding using them over and over again while creating new accounts.

Password Reuse Attacks

As mentioned earlier, using simple passwords can put users at great risk – Mark Zuckerberg – co-founder and chairman of Facebook too made the same mistake which resulted in several of his accounts being compromised in the process. If he had used several different passwords, the problem would not have been so difficult to deal with in the first place. Since most users tend to make the very same mistake, hackers find it to be one of the most effective ways to compromise several different accounts of the same user.
To avoid this problem, it is necessary for users to create strong and unique passwords for each account. Additionally, if they find it difficult to remember these passwords, they should utilize a password manager rather than make things incredibly easy for hackers and cybercriminals.

Social Engineering

Social engineering includes several techniques like whaling, vishing, phishing, spear phishing and privilege misuse. The method is used to trick users into giving out confidential information. This could be in the form of an email from a service provider or even a colleague, which makes it all the more legitimate for users to let their guard down thus giving hackers and cybercriminals the edge they need to achieve their goals.

Malware

Another common way people end up getting hacked is by involuntarily downloading malware programs. These programs are usually transmitted via email attachments, emails that link to other pages and websites that offer free downloads. To prevent this from happening, users need to make sure their emails are originating from a reliable source. Moreover, they should also stay clear from unknown and unreliable sites.

Physical Theft

A lot of people tend to make the terrible mistake of noting down their credentials on post-it notes or in their diaries/journals. Even though the method is not necessarily a high-tech hack, it still counts seeing how many people end up losing their information through physical theft.


Phishing scams


Lucky you! A Nigerian prince has selected you to help smuggle millions out of his country. For a little bit of effort — a few simple wire transfers — you'll get a substantial cut. What could be easier?
bet you're asking yourself, "Who would fall for that?" Well, tens of thousands of people do every year. That's why Nigerian scams, known as 419 scams, are still very popular.

Also See: How to protect your phone and avoid being hacked


Other versions might say you won a contest or have a job offer. Maybe someone wants to meet you, or you can make money for shipping some goods.

The catch is that you have to send in personal or banking information, or pay a fee. Of course, your information and money is going straight to hackers.
Use common sense before reacting to any e-mail. Scams rely on making you act quickly. If you think about things long enough, you can usually see through them. Just remember the old saying, "If it looks too good to be true … "

Trojan horse
Many hackers want to slip a virus on your computer. Once installed, a virus can record everything you type and send it back to the hacker. It can send out spam e-mail or attack other computers.
To do this, the hackers disguise the virus as something harmless. This is called a Trojan horse, or just Trojan.
One of the most popular ways to deliver a Trojan is a variation of the phishing e-mail scams.

For example, the e-mail might say it's from a shipping service, bank or other reputable company. There's been a problem with a transaction! To learn more, you have to open an e-mail attachment.

The attachment might look like a normal file, but it really contains a Trojan. Clicking on the file installs it before you can do anything.

See Also: Steps to Maximize your Wireless Network Security


Similar scams appear on Facebook and Twitter. You think you're going to watch a funny video your friend posted. Instead, a popup tells you to update your video player. The "update" file it provides is really a Trojan.

The key to defeat this tactic, as with phishing e-mails, is common sense. However, up-to-date security software is essential as well. It should detect and stop most Trojans before they can install.

Drive-by downloads
Security software is good, but it isn't always enough. Programs on your computer might have weaknesses that hackers can use to bypass security software.

To take advantage of these weaknesses, hackers set up websites embedded with viruses. You might get there by clicking a malicious link in a phishing e-mail or on social media. You can even find these sites in a search for popular programs or topics.

It isn't just malicious sites, though. Hackers can sneak malicious code on to legitimate websites. The code scans your computers for security holes. If it finds one, a virus can download and install without you doing anything.

To stay safe, you have to keep your programs up-to-date. Every month, Microsoft releases updates for Windows and Internet Explorer. These updates close critical security holes that hackers exploit.

Other critical programs to patch are Adobe's Flash and Reader, and Oracle's Java. Using old versions of these programs is like sending hackers an engraved invitation.

You should also be using the latest version of your programs. Anyone using Internet Explorer 6, 7 or 8 needs to update or switch browsers immediately.

Bypassing passwords
Hackers are masters of guessing account passwords. In the real world, however, very few hackers bother.
Instead, they go around passwords. They might get your password from a data breach at a company or website you use.

It's important that you use a different password for every account. That way, if a hacker discovers one, they can't get in to every account.
Perhaps the hacker slipped a virus on to your system. It records your passwords and sends them to the hacker; no guessing needed.
As mentioned above, you can stop viruses with up-to-date security software and programs.

A hacker might tackle your account's security question. Most security questions can be answered with information people post publicly.

You should change how you answer security questions. Give a random answer that has nothing to do with the question. That way, no one can guess it.

Using open Wi-Fi
If you have a Wi-Fi network at home. Is it encrypted? If you don't know the answer, then it's probably, "no."

That means hackers, and neighbors, can connect to your network from outside. They can see and record everything you do. They can surf to bad websites and download illegal files on your connection. You might be getting a visit from the police.

You need to take a few minutes and secure your network. Trust me; it's worth it. The instructions will be in your Wi-Fi router's manual.

That being said, now that you know of the top 5 ways people end up getting hacked, you will be able to better protect yourself. Furthermore, you can also ensure you do not end up making similar mistakes. But then again, if you are not sure where to start and how to simplify the process of protecting yourself online, you can start by taking advantage of what PureVPN has to offer. Not only will you be able to enhance your online security and anonymity, but you can make sure nobody monitors or tracks your online traffic.
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1 comment:

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