16 Clear Signs You’re About to Be Hacked
These are the most common cybersecurity missteps that will make you vulnerable to an attack.
You get contest information you didn’t sign up for
“Don’t respond with personal information (social security number, credit/debit card info, banking info, address, phone number) to contests, raffles, and other web forms that you didn’t explicitly sign up for. Don’t click on links in text messages from numbers you do not recognize.” —Rene Kolga, Senior Director of Product Management at cybersecurity tech company Nyotron. Here are 20 tricks hackers use to scam you.
You got a suspicious email and phone call
“Today’s hackers often use a coordinated hybrid approach that includes the computer, phone, and other means. For example, a person will call you on the phone, claim to be from your bank, and ask you to update your credentials because they’ve just updated the system. If you say you’d prefer to do so via a website rather than over the phone, they’ll give you the URL to a site that looks exactly like your bank’s site, but isn’t.”—Mark Gazit, CEO of ThetaRay, a provider of big data analytics solutions
You have the same password for everything
“When we recycle passwords, we increase the chances that hackers gain access to not one, but many of our online accounts. Instead of repeating an easy-to-remember password across multiple sites, a user should choose a unique password for each site. Or use a password manager.”—Ashley Boyd, VP of Advocacy at Mozilla. Learn these 10 tech myths that you need to stop believing.
You believe unbelievable deals
“When presented with unexpected offers, ask yourself whether it’s too good to be true. Would I trust this person/situation if it were to happen in the physical world (e.g. offline)? Ask for a second opinion from a technically savvy friend, colleague or a family member.”—Rene Kolga, Senior Director of Product Management at cybersecurity tech company Nyotron
You engage with suspicious emails
“If you receive a suspicious email from a friend’s email address, don’t reply, ‘Is it really you?’ because the fraudster will answer ‘Yes.’ If a suspicious email from your bank contains a phone number, don’t call it. Instead, look up the bank’s phone number in the Yellow Pages or Google it.” —Mark Gazit, CEO of ThetaRay, a provider of big data analytics solutions. Be wary of these 10 online scams you need to be aware of, too.
You have a weak password
“Most people are afraid of forgetting login information, or they simply don’t feel their password use is a security risk. When someone is apathetic towards passwords, they resort to weak password behavior leaving themselves open to risks. People create short, easy to remember passwords and then reuse those passwords across accounts. In addition, most individuals haven’t changed a password in the last year even after hearing of a breach in the news. That same research found that 15 percent of consumers would rather do a household chore and another 11 percent would prefer to sit in traffic than actively change their passwords.”—Rachael Stockton, director of product marketing for LastPass. Here are 12 signs someone just stole your identity.
You don’t think it could ever happen to you
“Assume you will be hacked, because one day you will. You can’t assume that because you live a quiet, low-profile life that you will not be a target.”—Mark Gazit, CEO of ThetaRay, a provider of big data analytics solutions
You never update your apps and OS
“Software updates are like oil changes—they may seem bothersome at the moment, but they prevent major problems down the line. By neglecting updates and running older versions of software, you could be operating programs with known vulnerabilities.”—Ashley Boyd, VP of Advocacy at Mozilla. Don’t miss these 10 ways to protect yourself online so you don’t fall victim to a scam.
You left your computer unguarded in a coffee shop
“A combination of leaving your computer unlocked in a public space and storing passwords in spreadsheets or documents on your computer can leave you very susceptible.”—Tom DeSot EVP, CIO of Digital Defense, Inc.
You gave info to an unencrypted site
“Entering sensitive information—like your credit card number—on an unencrypted website is risky. When entering personal information online, ensure the site is encrypted. How? Browsers like Firefox and Chrome will put a lock icon next to the URL to signal if a site is encrypted. Or, check to ensure the URL is ‘https’ not just ‘http’.”—Ashley Boyd, VP of Advocacy at Mozilla. These are the 12 signs a website is fake—and about to steal your money.