Every day, the number of cybercrimes is growing, in particular, the number of hacker attacks has significantly increased, as a result of which there are leaks of personal data of ordinary users, who most often do not even suspect that they were attacked by intruders. The main problem is that users fail to realize that cybercriminals can easily get hold of critical personal data without breaking into the house and stealing bags on the street. But today, user data is particularly vulnerable — new technologies allow hackers to easily obtain usernames and passwords, bank account numbers, and other confidential information.
What ways do attackers manage to get hold of users’ personal data?
There are many channels through which our personal data gets to the Internet. Something we post ourselves, something our friends and acquaintances write about us. Certain information is collected by apps and online resources. It is important to know that this data is stored on the servers of application developers and online resources, and it is often impossible to delete it from there. The reality is that people give out too much information about themselves on the Internet while experiencing the erroneous belief that the information they own is confidential. Every action on the network leaves a “digital footprint”. For example, photos in social networks, statements on forums,” likes ” of news. Moreover, the digital footprint is left by the very fact of the user’s activity: information about the sites visited, about purchases made, about the geographical location.
- Another common way to leak data is through Trojans or other malicious software that is downloaded to your computer. This happens during the transition from site to site, due to inattention, the user can download an infected file, which will open access to all the data stored on the infected device.
- Phishing. With the help of exact copies of online store sites, attackers can get information about credit cards.
- Hackers also actively use email for their own purposes — they send links leading to sites “infected” with viruses. Email is more than just a mailbox. You use it to register on most websites and services, which means that if you gain access to your email, hackers will be able to hack into your other accounts.
How can attackers use my data?
There are actually a lot of options. And all of them are fraught with very big problems for good citizens.
Under certain circumstances, knowing someone else’s personal data, you can:
- get a loan from a bank;
- buy a sim card;
- carry out fraud on the Internet;
- get duplicate documents for various transactions;
- manage your credit cards.
What can a user do to create a reliable system for protecting their personal information?
Take some important steps:
- Install a firewall in your computer system to ensure safe operation on local networks and the Internet.
- Install effective antivirus software, such as Norton Security, that provides advanced protection against increasingly complex Internet threats.
- Before installing any software, check the data about it on various forums through search engines to see if there are problems with users of this software; research the reputation of the company that sells this software.
- Never use a short and simple password to log in to your online accounts. Use complex combinations of letters, numbers, and special characters as your password.
- Be wary of links and Internet addresses sent in unsolicited emails or text messages.
- Do not send critical information in unencrypted form by email, be careful when clicking on links in emails.
- Check your accounts regularly for any unusual activity.
- Track your child’s activity online, use a modern parental control system on your computer, tablet, and mobile phone. Parents should tell their children about the dangers of the Internet.
- Do not install mobile apps before you know the access rights they need.
- Create groups of email addresses; don’t link accounts on Facebook, Twitter, news sites, online stores, and online banking services to a single email address.