This article was contributed by Roy Cohen, an outreacher and cyber security enthusiast writing for Flare.Systems.
In the world of data security, there are two primary types of attacks: active and passive.
In an active attack, a hacker breaks into a company's network by exploiting vulnerabilities in the system to access information.
Passive attacks, on the other hand, are usually carried out preemptively: someone gathers or buys personal information from other sources before breaking into your account.
Any organization must protect against both types of attacks as they carry different risks and consequences depending on what kind of data was accessed and to whom it belongs.
This article will outline three ways hackers steal your data in 2022 and why preventing information leakage is vital.
Is Your Data at Risk?
In the event of a successful attack, individuals can suffer significant damage to their data.
Common types of data at risk are an individual's name, date of birth, credit card numbers, passwords, and email addresses. In addition, there are photographs, videos, or chat messages that potentially contain sensitive or private information.
A data leak can result in another person having complete access to an individual's life, which is why information leakage is important. It also means they can destroy it or sell it on the dark web.
How Your Information is Being Leaked
There are many ways in which hackers are stealing your data, like:
- Data Breaches – This is by far the most common way that hackers steal data. A data breach occurs when hackers access an organization's network and download information stored on their servers.
- Ransomware – This type of hack encrypts your files with strong cryptography so that you cannot open them. The only way to get the keys to unlock the encryption is to pay a ransom fee in cryptocurrency or another form of money transfer or payment for the key required to decrypt your files.
- Phishing or Spear Phishing – This is a form of active hacking where hackers break into an individual's email account and attempt to send them links that run malicious code to give the hacker access to their device.
Because of this, you need to be vigilant and practice good cyber security habits such as monitoring the dark web and monitoring data breaches in your system.
How to Protect Your Data
Here are some of the things that you can do to guard your personal information.
Set up Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
One of the most effective ways to protect your information online and prevent it from being stolen is to set up 2-factor authentication (2FA). With this method, the person who wants to access your account would need a security key or voice recognition program that only you know how to use.
This extra step ensures that no one except you can access your account even if they have managed to get their hands on your username and password.
Avoid Downloading Any Apps From Suspicious Sources
These days, even the most trusted app makers can embed malicious code used to steal your data. Therefore, it's best to stick with official sources like the Google Play Store, App Store, or Windows Store for updates and downloads for new applications.
Monitor The Dark Web
As mentioned above, it's crucial to monitor the dark web for data breaches that could get your information stolen. You can do this by setting up alerts for specific phrases or keywords on platforms.
It's important to take data security seriously as your personal information is just as crucial as your physical possessions, with a lot more risks involved. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated every day, which is why you must stay safe.
About the author
Roy Cohen is an outreacher and cyber security enthusiast writing for Flare.Systems Flare.systems maps your digital footprint to reduce risk. With simple yet comprehensive software, they can automate the dark, deep and clear web monitoring allowing you to be one step ahead of danger.