In the reported cases of data breaches that happened in 2016, 56% were the result of users clicking on a phishing email. From that single act of clicking the link, the granted hackers access to their networks.
If you are reading this and thinking, “I don’t have anything of value for hackers to get from me. They’re probably more interested in influential people or those that work in big corporations.”
Well, here is a shocker! Your identity is very important to hackers; they could use it to carry out their online heists and espionage using your digital identity/fingerprint. That way, should the authority come after them, they might be duped into thinking it was you, ‘a nobody’ that hacked and made away with money or confidential data.
That said, it is in your best interest to protect yourself from hackers; whether you think you have something of value or otherwise. Everyone has something the cyber criminals might want, so don’t become a victim.
The common Tricks Hackers use to hack people
How Hackers Hack in Public networks
Ø A hacker can insert herself right in the middle of unsecured Wi-Fi connection; in between the server and devices connected. Then she pretends to be both parties, and that way can relay information passing back and forth. Slowly reading through the information until they find something of value to them.
Ø The Evil ‘Free Wi-Fi’ networks: When you are out in public, be very cautious when connecting to public free Wi-Fi. Some could have been created by hackers who only want to harvest your personal information. All devices connected to their access point, under the guise of ‘Free Wi-Fi’ are accessed by the hackers who then spy on their users. They can go a step further to dupe you (user) to install a malware by redirecting you to malicious sites.
Ø Once a hacker has established access to your device, they can start reading your emails, files, and even credit card details. They may even plant malicious software that will enable them control your device remotely. Sometimes even decide to deny you access to your own device by locking you out. Other times they may decide not to cause any immediate harm, but sit back and start watching you through your webcam.
How to Protect yourself
Ø Always be careful when connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
Ø Never access sensitive information (such as email and important files) while connected to unsecured Wi-Fi.
Ø Make it a habit to frequently change your password frequently; could be every month. Also never use the same password(s) across your other accounts and platforms.
Ø Don’t click on links in suspicious emails or open their attachments.
How Hackers Hack Private Networks
The easiest targets are computers which are not updated frequently. Some users never or delay updating their devices’ operating systems and applications software, thereby missing important patches and updates. When you don’t keep your devices up-to-date, hackers find holes to infiltrate, plant malicious software, spy on you, lock you out, and steal from you.
Use of Pirated Software. You might think you are saving money by downloading pirated software, but this same software could contain a backdoor for hackers. Once you install them on your system, the hacker can access it remotely and compromise your privacy and security.
How Hackers Hack Smart Devices
Most people with smart devices tend to forget to change their default login settings. Since they are connected to the home network, a hacker can easily obtain the default login settings from the manufacturer website gain access to the network.
Once they have access to the home network via one of the smart devices whose login credentials were at default. They can then proceed to harvest private information from other devices connected to the home network.
How to protect your Smart Devices
Ø Change the login settings from the manufacturer’s default setting
Ø Add an additional layer of security authentication to your home network
Ø Regularly update security and firmware patches