Still, those with enough expertise know that breaking into a popular service with millions of active users is their chance to score big. And history has seen enough large data breaches for us to presume that nothing we put online is 100% safe.
Scenario #2: Breaching official websites and databases
Let’s say there was a successful attack. First, hackers get access to sensitive information from existing databases: such as names and usernames, email addresses, and payment details. In some cases, this data will be encrypted – which means it is relatively safe even if it falls into the wrong hands. (The latter, though, will depend on the quality of encryption.)
Second, up to the point when the attack is detected, and the breach is closed, fraudsters can forge the website’s pages and forms to steal data in real-time.
How do you minimize the risk of losing your private data to hackers?
- Use an antivirus that monitors suspicious website activity (and make sure you are getting automated updates!);
- Keep in mind that no antivirus provides 100% protection. Any of us can fall victim to so-called zero-hour attacks: when a vulnerability is so new that it hasn’t been added to databases yet. So it’s a good idea to stay alert: look out for funny-looking forms or strange website behavior;
- Make sure your plastic cards support 3-D Secure;
- Use separate accounts for savings and everyday expenses;
- Share your data only with the services you trust. The larger and more modern the platform is, the more likely it is to have advanced security systems. Choose the ones that encrypt your data;
- If you find out the website was compromised, block the card tied to it ASAP, run a deep antivirus scan, and then change your passwords.
Do you have any questions or hints? Please share those in the comments below.