16 Clear Signs You’re About to Be Hacked
These are the most common cybersecurity missteps that will make you vulnerable to an attack.
“Many people cannot be bothered with entering additional information to verify their identity. They want to access their accounts in the most efficient and quickest manner possible. Unfortunately, this comes at a potential increased risk. The typical manner to access an online account is a username and password. So if an attacker gains access to this password they have access to your account. Enabling MFA [multi-factor authentication] on critical accounts such as online banking or email helps to minimize this risk because the attacker now needs another piece of information to access your accounts. Not all MFA’s are created equal. A common choice is to receive a code via a text message (SMS). This is not the most secure manner to use MFA, as an attacker can port a phone and receive the verification pin to access your account (as mentioned above). The better option is to have an authentication application such as Google Authenticator which allows you to enter a pin directly from the application.”—Will Mendez, Director of Friedman CyZen LLC, a cybersecurity consulting company
You ignore account alerts
“Many people do not pay enough attention to alerts they receive concerning changes to accounts, especially password changes. This can be a sign of someone trying to access your account by resetting your password. If you notice an alert and you do not remember requesting a password reset, then call your provider immediately.”—Will Mendez, Director of Friedman CyZen LLC, a cybersecurity consulting company. Here are 14 Facebook scams you need to take seriously.
You are doing your banking via public Wi-Fi
“A common mistake that we see consumers make that puts them at risk for being hacked is connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots. While it can be convenient to plug into free Wi-Fi while on-the-go, it is very easy for attackers to intercept internet traffic sent over an unsecured network. Some cybercriminals even create fake Wi-Fi hotspots in public locations in an attempt to steal data from those who connect. Avoid connecting to Wi-Fi networks that are not password protected, and never connect to banking or other sensitive sites when on any public Wi-Fi network.”—Brian Anderson, a security expert at Kaspersky Lab North America
You don’t have a passcode on your phone
“Sure, everyone knows it’s more than just a good idea—it’s the smart, responsible thing to do—but still, so many people fail to put a passcode or password on their smartphones. A recent survey by Pew Research found that 28 percent of smartphone owners say they do not use a screen lock or other security features to access their phone. But even if you (mistakenly) think you have nothing to hide, remember that your phone holds troves of data regarding just about everything in your life—from your bank accounts to your grocery shopping lists. Without a passcode or password, it’s just an open book, waiting to be hacked.”—Andrew Newman, Founder of Reason Software
You never back your stuff up
“Getting hacked is very possible, so always make backups of your important data! Do it at least once a week, if not more often.”—Daniel Dolev, Berthold Badler Chair in Computer Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a member of the scientific council of the European Research Council. These are 12 signs someone might be spying on your computer.
You give away too many hints on social media
“Posting sensitive information on social networking profiles like your date of birth, your pet’s name, family names—these can all be used against you.”—Jason Hart, VP and CTO for Data Protection at Gemalto. Next, check out the 17 everyday things you didn’t know could be hacked.