Computer hackers are unauthorized actors who break into computer systems in order to steal information, often by installing dangerous malware without your knowledge. This can be detrimental to a business or individual depending on how the stolen data is used. While it’s important to have proper security measures in place, it’s equally crucial to be aware of the ways hackers try to attack your personal information.

Security engineer is pushing CYBERSECURITY on an interactive virtual control screen. Computer security concept and information technology metaphor for risk management and safeguarding of cyber space.

Phishing.

Phishing is a phony email pretending to be real. By creating phishing emails, hackers can essentially “fish” for confidential information like bank account numbers or passwords. The email typically appears like it’s coming from a familiar contact or organganizations like a bank or credit card company. These emails generally try to trick users into giving out their personal details. Phishing emails may also contain a link which upon clicking will take you to a fake website. If the victim falls for the scam and enters his/her personal information, the data will actually go to the hacker’s server.

Fake Links and Advertisements.

Another way hackers gain access to data is through fake advertisements and email attachments. As soon as the victim clicks on the link, malware immediately gets installed onto their system, giving the hacker complete access to your device.

Malware.

As mentioned above, malware is malicious software written with the intent to compromise a computer system. There are different ways that can lead to the installation of malware in your system. Thierry LeVasseur, a digital security expert, explains one of the ways you can prevent these viruses from infiltrating your computer is by making sure you are running an up-to-date version of your operating system. Thierry says outdated versions are much more susceptible to attacks. He also advises people to take notice of spelling or grammatical errors in email addresses, as cyber criminals often alter them slightly to trick their victims into opening them.

Phony Mobile Apps.

Be warned, not every app available on the Apple store is what it seems. Hackers can apply a malicious code onto a phony app that will install viruses on your device, putting your privacy at risk. The app may ask for unnecessary permissions that hackers may misuse to extract critical data including your contacts, messages and media.

Insecure networks.

While it’s commonplace to connect to a free or open Wi-Fi network, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. Connecting your device to an insecure network can allow hackers to gain access to all the files on your system, stealing passwords and account information. Connecting to free WiFi is especially risky if you are carrying out activities online such as banking or paying bills.

Hackers are always looking for new and clever ways to steal your information. Your online security is in your own hands. By staying cautious and alert, you can prevent these cyber crimes from happening to you.

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