We have been seeing many high-profile data breaches, hacks and cybercrimes over the past six months which are directly affecting the innocent users. Many users do not even realize how conveniently hackers get their sensitive personal information without breaking into their homes. It seems that user’s data is more vulnerable than anyone is ready to admit. In the recent past we have seen that hackers are easily getting access to our login details, our bank account or credit card number, and other valuable identifying data.
All the users today are worried about their data available online. There may be many of us who would be thinking about how our personal data reaches these hackers. And what can we do to protect it. Here are the primary ways through which hackers get access to our data.
- One way that data leaks is through Trojans or other malware that enter our computer while we are surfing or accidently downloading files from the web. In such situation, hackers can easily access all the data stored in the computing device.
- We may unknowingly install certain malicious apps or software without going through the “access rights” clearly.
- Moreover a lot of our information is present on the social networking platforms that help hackers in a big way. There are various friendship and romance sites that lure users to give out their personal details and in return become a victim.
- In many situations, we unknowingly visit fake shopping websites and produce our personal data to the hackers.
- Hackers send malicious attachments through emails directing users to a malicious webpage which entice the user to provide sensitive information. Hackers use this information to steal our financial data, access our financial accounts, transfer our account balances, access our personal email account, open a new bank accounts, make purchases, apply for loans and much more.
- Additionally, hackers also get data from lost or stolen laptops, removable storage devices, or even from paper records containing personal information.
What can a user do to ensure the safety of his online details? To minimize the risk of becoming a victim, there are some basic steps you can take.
- Enable firewall in your computer system to ensure you are secure on local networks and the Internet.
- Update your system with the latest antivirus software such as eScan that provides enhanced protection against evolving internet threats.
- Before installing any program or software conduct a background check on various forums via search engines to understand the problems faced by the customers of the site in question and then act judiciously also do through research about the reputability of the company that is selling the program or software.
- Never keep an easy password based on personal information for your online accounts. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Be suspicious of URLs sent in unsolicited email or text messages.
- Do not provide sensitive information through email, and use caution when clicking on links in email messages.
- Regularly check your accounts for any unusual activity.
- Monitor your child’s online activity to protect him/her from online danger and consider implementing parental controls in your computer, tablet and mobile. Additionally, parents need to educate their kids about the online dangers too.
- Do not install mobile apps before understanding the “Access Rights” required by it.
- Split your emails, rather than connecting Facebook, Twitter, newsgroups, shopping and banking sites to one email address.
Use free eScan toolkit to see whether your system is infected or not. Free eScanAV Anti-Virus Toolkit (MWAV): http://www.escanav.com/english/content/products/MWAV/escan_mwav.asp