Three Ways Computer Hackers Can Steal Your Passwords

If you think your passwords are safe, think again. Computer hackers have hundreds of ways to steal your credentials, and their techniques have become more sophisticated. In 2016 alone, over two million accounts on PayPal, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and other popular sites, were compromised.

This kind of event can be life-changing, a nuisance and at times dangerous. Here are three ways hackers can steal your passwords, and what you can do to prevent it from happening in your office.

1: Password Recycling

Perhaps the most common way hackers steal your passwords is by grabbing it from a document containing leaked passwords from another hacker more skilled than he is. This happens when someone compromises a database on one of the services you use and grabs all the passwords (this is easy if they’re unencrypted) stored in it. Afterwards, he will leak those passwords by posting them into a temporary document publicly. When that happens, scavengers take what they can find and try out the emails and passwords of these accounts on PayPal and other known services.

This works because the typical Internet user will use the same password for many of his accounts. To prevent this, use a trustworthy and secure single sign-on provider.

2: Wi-Fi Sniffing

When you’re on your phone, tablet, or laptop, the added convenience of connecting to networks outside your home is a trade-off. You’re trading your security for convenience. While you browse through unprotected WiFi, you’re basically broadcasting your data to everyone. Since your data is sent via radio waves to the router, it will simultaneously reach every connected device. Normally, they ignore the data you send, but someone could be using a WiFi sniffer which picks up any data you’re broadcasting. This will include URLs, passwords, and other private data.

To protect yourself from this, you should use a VPN service. Many VPN services provide encryption in the connection and are compatible with virtually every device.

3: Security Questions

When you recover an account, one of the steps may be to answer a security question before you can reset the password. Often, the hacker will already have complete access to your email account. Security questions are usually a weak excuse for a security measure.

If you have the option of choosing “Other,” write a security question that’s impossible to find the answer to without your help.

Having your account broken into can be frustrating and time-consuming. The next time you are logging in, make sure you are taking the precaution of what network you’re using and if your information is secure.

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Article Source: Make Tech Easier

 

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