Hackers who infiltrate other people’s computers, whether for fun, money, or political reasons, find it increasingly easier to decrypt passwords, especially if they are weak. Therefore, knowing the most used hacking methods is essential to protect yourself.
How do they do that?
To gain access to your data and personal information, cybercriminals need to obtain your access credentials, that is, your usernames and passwords.
They achieve this by using methods that help them identify these credentials, such as special computer programs, access attacks, and other methods we review that you should know to protect yourself against them.
Methods most used by hackers
These are the systems most used by cybercriminals to obtain your access credentials to the services or platforms you use.
One of the most common techniques to get hold of your data. It consists of sending fake emails that pretend to be from a legitimate entity, such as a bank, a social network, or an online service. These emails ask you to enter a link to verify your account, update your information, or resolve a problem.
However, the link takes you to a fake web page that imitates the original, where they ask you to enter your username and password. If you do, hackers will capture your data and be able to access your real account.
The most used method by hackers is to install a malicious program on your computer or mobile device that records everything you type on the keyboard, including your passwords.
Criminals can send this program by email, by text message, or through a download link. Once installed, the program sends the captured information to hackers, who can use it to access your accounts.
Brute force attacks
This technique consists of trying different combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols until you find the correct password. Hackers use automated programs that can make thousands of attempts per second, exploiting the weaknesses of simple or predictable passwords.
For example, if your password is “123456”, “qwerty,” or “password,” it is very likely that hackers will discover it in a short time.
A hacker can manipulate or trick another person into voluntarily revealing their passwords. This can be done by posing as someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or support technician, and asking you to give your password for some reason.
They may also take advantage of your curiosity or generosity and offer you something in exchange for your password, such as a gift, prize, or donation.
Criminals also take advantage of the lack of physical security on your computer or mobile device and directly access it to obtain your passwords. Hackers can steal your computer or mobile device when you leave it unattended or unlocked or access it when you use it in a public or shared location.
They can also use external devices, such as USB sticks or hard drives, to copy your files or install malicious programs.
How to protect yourself
As you can see, hackers have many ways to steal your passwords and access your online accounts. Therefore, you must take some precautionary measures to protect your personal information and avoid being a victim of these attacks.
Use strong passwords:
- Choose long, complex, and unique passwords for each account.
- Use upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Avoid using common words, proper names, or important dates. You can also use a password manager to help you create and remember your passwords.
Change your passwords frequently: Don’t use the same password for long or reuse it across different accounts. Change your passwords occasionally, especially if you suspect they have been compromised.
Please don’t share your passwords with anyone: Don’t give your password to anyone or write it down anywhere visible or accessible. Also, do not use the remember password option in web browsers or mobile applications.
Check the authenticity of emails and web pages: Don’t open or reply to suspicious emails or click on links or attachments you don’t recognize. Check that the sender’s address is legitimate and that the content is consistent and error-free. Also, verify that the address of the web page you are accessing begins with the https:// protocol and has a green padlock in the navigation bar.
Protect your computer and mobile device: Install an antivirus and a firewall on your computer and update the operating system and applications regularly. Also, enable screen locking and encryption on your mobile device and use a secure Wi-Fi network when you connect to the internet.
Be cautious: Do not trust offers that are too good to be true or people who ask you for personal or financial information. If you have doubts, consult the entity or person supposedly involved or seek information from reliable sources.
Also Read: How Secure Is Your Password Manager?