Why You Should Guard Yourself Against Online Predators

    You don’t have to be super smart to realise that incidences of hacking have increased in the recent past. It seems that everyone is getting hacked these days. Is there a spike in hacking activities than usual, or people are just being more observant and open about reporting security breaches? Here is the brutal truth; the internet is vulnerable.  As the world’s interconnectedness continues to increase, the threats also continue to rise. VPN providers have always overstated that having unprotected internet-enabled devices is like leaving your front door open for burglars.

    Can you imagine your home appliances acting as a weapon against you in your own house or your vehicle suddenly veering into oncoming traffic? This prompts the question about the safety of internet-enabled technologies. Today, almost anything that connects to the internet has the potential of creating a wide range of threats due to hacking.

    So why do hackers hack? What do they gain from causing damage? Well, I am certain your guess is just as good as mine, to steal or leak information. But do you know why? It helps to think like a hacker. They might not be psychologists,but surely they know how to take advantage of people’s habits, by manipulating them into offering access. The ultimate goal of hacking is gaining access to unauthorised data after all.

    Here are some of the common ways digital thieves steal your data:

     

    • Phishing scams

     

    The perpetrators send you an email that seems to be authentic communication from your bank or subscription services. The information on the email alerts you to verify your account information by clicking on a link,and once you key in your login information, you give them access,and all your money or information is gone in a split second.

     

    • Password Hacking

     

    Do you use overly simple passwords? How often do you change the password? If yes, you are a potential target for digital thieves. Most hackers are determined,and it’s simply a matter of trial and error before they discover you used your birthday date as your security or your wedding anniversary.

     

    • Free software downloads

     

    Cheap is expensive! Going the free route by downloading shared versions of software might cause you irreparable damage. Some hackers often embed harmful viruses and malware in the software and wait for an ideal time to strike once you install it in your system.  

    What do hackers want from you?

    These online villains disguised in bogus identity use the private information you unwittingly revealed for their gain. The following is a list of things they can do with your data at their disposal;

    • Server disruption – aimed at rendering particular websites obsolete
    • Identity theft – aimed at impersonating victims
    • Data ransom – victim’s data is hacked and encrypted until they pay for the restoration
    • They can make purchases and withdrawals with victims’ credit cards
    • Leaking private information to the public

    Tips to prevent you from hacking

    • Consult VPN providers
    • Use a firewall
    • Conduct regular OS updates
    • Limit your personal information online
    • Increase browser security settings

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