Data theft on the Internet is one of the most common threats users face. One way or another, our personal information can end up in the hands of hackers. When a cybercriminal steals your data it can do several things. In this article we explore the alternatives and security measures to avoid data stealing.
First of all, you must avoid silly mistakes that end up leaving your computer vulnerable. You have to keep in mind that cybercriminals use different methods to try and steal your data and passwords. There are phishing attacks, introduction of Trojans in your mobile device or PC, and there’s even espionage through social networks. The opportunities for a cybercriminal that steals your data are a lot.
Stolen data used on the Internet
The way cybercriminals use the data they steal is not always the same. Sometimes they use it to affect you directly but there are examples of usage of stolen data to affect third parties. This is the list of most common uses of stolen data on the Internet.
A cybercriminal steals your personal data and sells it to third parties
On the one hand, they sell stolen data to third parties. This information includes from your name and address, to information about your daily life. A third party that buys stolen information uses it to create a profile about you. Marketing companies tend to use stolen data packages to start sending targeted advertisements. The cybercriminal gives them the raw material to create different advertising campaigns. On the Internet, personal data is a very expensive commodity.
On the other hand, a hacker may sell your personal data to other cybercriminals. Perhaps there is a group of hackers wanting to launch a specific campaign: users of a certain bank, or people who lives in a neighborhood. The more information they have about the victims, the more successful rate they get for their actions.
Targeting friends or family
A cybercriminal steals your personal data and can use it to impersonate your identity. This is a way to reach out to friends or family members. Imagine they can create a profile on social networks using your name and all the information they steal and collect from your accounts. They can even trick your friends and family to download a virus and steal even more data.
If one of your contact receives a message thinking it’s you, it may click on a link to download a virus without noticing it. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are very likely to suffer this type of attacks.
Cybercriminals steal your data in order to use your financial information. They can even steal your bank cards and accounts without you noticing it. If a hacker has control of your bank data he or she can transfer money or carry out fraudulent payments. It’s very important to protect your banking data all the time. Use secure payment methods and use two-steps authentication in order to preserve your financial data secure.
Cybercriminal steals your data to take control of your account
When the cybercriminal gains access to your data and passwords, they can take control of your Internet services. It’s a very significant danger because they can control your social media, websites and services you have registered. For example, they can use your Internet services like Netflix or Spotify.
A strong password is essential to protect your Internet presence. The main objective is to protect your device when connecting to public networks and you should also consider to activate a good antivirus. You can use a VPN to encrypt your connection when using public networks.
The personal data and the information you share on the Internet is a double edged sword. If it ends up in the wrong hands you can be exposed in dangerous and worrisome ways.