Tech

These Are the Easiest Ways You Can Get Hacked

These are what makes phishing attacks so effective.
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According to a data research company, as much as 90 percent of data breaches that occurred globally in 2019 were done through phishing. Phishing is a form of cyberattack that seeks to steal your sensitive information to gain access to your cash or other liquid assets (e.g., your bank account, your credit card details, etc.).

Phishing attacks usually come in the form of emails purporting to be job offers, job promotions, security updates, password verification, product promos, or offers on exclusive access to certain content. Every phishing attack almost always asks you to provide sensitive information such as your PIN or password.

In the Philippines, some of the most common phishing attacks come in the form of emails or text messages with links to websites that are designed to look legitimate, like your bank’s website. These malicious websites will request for personal and account information, such as:

  • Online banking log-in credentials such as the user name and password
  • Card details such as the card number, expiry date and its CVC or CVV number found at the back of the card

The following are some of the easiest ways people are hacked through phishing.

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1| Clicking a Link

Imagine a scenario: You receive an email offering free access to exclusive to content, or perhaps you’ve been considered as a top executive at a United Nations office at the Hague. You click the link in the e-mail and there was no damage done to your laptop.  Judge that the email is simply spam, and there was nothing done to your computer.

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A few days later, your boss notifies you of a transaction worth thousands of pesos, which you authorized, according to a data report. You have no such recollection of approving such a transaction.

The simple act of clicking a link sent to your email is enough to compromise your device and your sensitive data. By clicking a malicious link, you may be unwittingly downloading malicious software that will run in the background of your computer and perform transaction or gain access to your credentials.

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2| Connecting to Public Wi-Fi

Frequent travellers often become phishing victims when they connect to public Wi-Fi, especially free ones. It’s very tempting to connect to the free public Wi-Fi when you’re travelling abroad, like those found in airports. These portals ask for sensitive information about you such as your email, phone number, and even ask you to create a password—most people use the same password they have for their email—thereby feeding crucial information to the attacker.

If you have to use the Internet, do so through a virtual private network (VPN) for added security.

3| Posting Too Much Information on Social Media

Most phishing attackers are patient and on the lookout for high-value targets who would post seemingly insignificant but highly valuable information on social media, such as your new role in your office, a promotion, or a business trip.

Phishing attackers are sophisticated and will trace your online behavior. They will keep tags on all the people, sites, and links you interact with to find your vulnerability.

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To avoid becoming a victim of phishing on social media, it will greatly help if you do the following on social media:

  • Limit your audience to your friends only
  • Do not add people you don’t know personally
  • Do not post information about your business or travels

 

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Caloi Santos
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