As you read this, hackers everywhere are hard at work trying to obtain your personal information and steal your identity. It’s scary, but it’s also a common part of today’s online landscape.
With cyber crime in mind, here are some new ways hackers are infiltrating your online world and taking what they want.
Malware is everywhere
Granted, malware isn’t the new kid on the block by any means, but hackers are finding new ways to hide malicious malware programs from detection. The newest forms of malware essentially lie dormant while anti-virus software updates and searches for threats.
Malware that goes undetected long enough will eventually retrieve and log your various passwords, even those passwords from concealed login sites. Not only that, once malware successfully enters your system, it’s capable of leaving your entire network vulnerable to other cyber criminals on the hunt.
Hacking via social engineering
Social engineering is a form of hacking that uses the human manipulation approach by way of email and direct phone call phishing. Email phishing comes in the form of a hacker posing as a legitimate company requiring personal information via email.
Phone phishing, on the other hand, is much more brazen, and involves the cyber criminal acting as a company representative by calling and speaking directly with the victim to acquire personal information.
A recent form of phone phishing that’s gaining in popularity is similar to the technique above, except the cyber criminal poses as the customer and contacts companies in the hope that phone representatives will release customer information to them.
Social network scouting
One way to avoid falling victim to id theft is by simply not revealing too much information about yourself on social media sites. Hackers browse profiles looking for identity tidbits that could help them crack your passwords.
So, don’t let the world know what your favorite websites are — especially if you have accounts with those sites. Also, never discuss subject matter related to your passwords.
For example, if your dog’s name is Skip, and every password you have involves the name Skip, don’t talk about your dog Skip via social media, or better yet, come up with a stronger password.
Wi-Fi hackers are waiting
Open wireless networks are like open doors and windows for hackers trying to infiltrate your online life. And, considering any information transmitted on an open network is up for grabs for anyone within network range, more and more hackers are turning to this “fish in a barrel” method of online theft.
Likewise, joining open wireless networks at coffee shops, libraries, and any other designated Wi-Fi area is yet another way for hackers to gain access to anything you happen to do on your laptop, which includes logging into personal information.
Because not using Wi-Fi isn’t an option, the best thing to do is avoid accessing sensitive information while on a public network. When it comes to Wi-Fi at home, make sure others need a password to join. Take it an extra step further and enable MAC filtering.
Hackers come up with new techniques everyday, so it’s important to stay informed on the newest tactics to avoid being a victim.