Are many people thinking about their information literacy? To protect yourself from scammers, data breaches, and keeping your personal accounts safe, you need to know how to protect your accounts at Hellspin, Facebook, and any other platform. Let’s see the most common account hacking methods of modern hackers and how to protect your accounts.
There are many ways in the hands of criminals to steal personal information and accounts. The main ones include:
- Spoofing official pages of companies, banks, and payment pages. Scammers usually call or write on behalf of a well-known company or bank, fake documents and social media posts. The main goal of scammers is to make their victims believe that they are in front of an official website or representative of a large company, after which the user enters their bank details, provides personal information, or transfers funds.
- Data leaks. Even the largest companies are attacked by hackers, after which the attackers collect user data and sell it on the black market or put it on the Internet for fun and blackmail. If a user uses one password for all accounts and one of them is hacked, there is a high probability of losing all their accounts.
- Brute-force attacks. A method that uses automated programs that, by the method of selection, search through all possible combinations of passwords and user logins until access is gained.
- Dictionary brute-force. Using automated programs also brute-force logins and passwords. But, if in brute-forcing, the variants are combined with each other, here all the data is compiled in advance based on popular user logins and passwords.
- Data from social media. Many people themselves disclose information about themselves online, but “the Internet remembers everything,” and fraudsters, visiting a person’s page on social media, learn their full name, place of residence and study, date of birth, their interests, names of relatives, pets, and other information. Based on this data, many people make up their logins, passwords, and answers to secret questions, and scammers use this information to access accounts and blackmail.
- For example, programs like keyloggers can covertly read all of a user’s keystrokes on a keyboard and then pass the information to scammers.
Rules for a Strong Password
What rules to remember when making a new password?
- Use a password with a large number of characters, at least ten characters, and it’s better to use from 14 to 16. The more, the better the protection.
- Avoid common combinations and words. Passwords, like “Qwerty,” “12345,” “password,” and other popular combinations, can be cracked literally in an instant, as these data are in all popular directories. Using popular word combinations won’t help either.
- Using capital and small letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and special characters (!@#$%^&*) makes life difficult for fraudsters when trying to find passwords.
- Avoid similar letters and numbers. For example, replacing the letter “O” with the digit “0” in the word “Fl0wer” won’t increase security, as the programs take into account the option of their substitution.
- Don’t use old passwords and one password for all accounts. All passwords should be unique and without repeats. If data leakage occurs somewhere, it will open access to other services.
Where to Save Your Passwords
You can save passwords in your browser, but despite its convenience, it isn’t the most secure place, as not all browsers meet security requirements, and some don’t encrypt data at all. It’s better to store in your browser only passwords from accounts that are safe to lose or to which two-factor authentication is connected.
Using encrypted files is also useful. Encrypt a document with passwords or save it in an encrypted archive, then transfer it to a flash drive and keep it with you at all times. Why not? The main thing is to use a virus-free device, use reliable services, and come up with a reliable master password. But it will be more convenient to use a local password manager.
Hardware devices in the form of thumb drives that hold encrypted data are also quite secure. The user inserts the device into the computer, enters the master password, and gets access to the storage.
This method is both convenient and secure due to encryption. To use it, you only need to come up with one master password from the manager itself. By entering it, the user will have access to all their accounts. Popular password managers have browser extensions and automatically substitute data into the form for entering logins and passwords, as well as mobile and computer apps, so you will always have access to passwords anywhere, and you only need to remember one password — the master password from the app itself.
How to Increase Account Security
The security of accounts depends not only on how complex the password is but also on what methods are used in the role of additional protection. To increase account security, you should:
- Connect two-factor authentication, acting as an additional check. After successfully entering your login and password, you will need to additionally confirm your login using biometrics (fingerprint or Face ID), a code from SMS, email, or a two-factor authentication application.
- Regularly change the password for important accounts that should never be lost. These may include master passwords from password managers, online banking, and social media. You shouldn’t change a few characters in your password but rather create or generate a brand new one.
- A virtual keyboard helps protect against hidden keyloggers in the system. Use it when entering data on banking sites.
- Specify backup email addresses and cell phone numbers. If the system detects a suspicious entry, it will request additional confirmation from the intruder.
Remember that the protection of personal data is in your hands. Increase your information literacy, and don’t allow fraudsters to get hold of confidential information, steal money, and engage in blackmail.