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Hackers Are Stealing Your Data: Here’s How They Do It

The average cost of a data breach to large corporations is $3.92 million. But it’s not only large corporations losing data to hackers.

Personal users are still affected by data loss or losing access to accounts. All because a hacker gained access to their details.

Are you concerned about how hackers are stealing data? Here’s how they do it — and how to stop them.


Hackers can pretend to be someone you know to trick you into clicking a link. Once you do, you grant them access to your system.

If you do that at work, then the network won’t register the attack. Access looks genuine because they used your password to get in.

Hackers can even use the information on your social media profile as “bait.” If they learn you like a particular TV show? They might hide the malicious link in a button to watch a new episode.

How to Avoid It

Don’t click on links in emails if you don’t know the sender. If you do, check the rest of the email.

Is it only a link? That looks suspicious. Is there other content that makes sense to you?

If in doubt, ask.

And be careful about how much information you post on social media. If your Facebook profile lists your primary school? Don’t use that as an answer to an account recovery question.

Employee Bad Practice

Sadly, hackers don’t need to work that hard when sloppy privacy practices make it easy for them. And hackers can be ex-employees with a grudge.

Watching a colleague input a password is simple. Some colleagues leave their login details on a Post-It note beside their desk.

More enterprising hackers use keylogging software via a USB drive in the computer. The software scrapes the login details of any user for that computer.

How to Avoid It

Don’t enter your password if someone is standing behind you. Or block the view of your keyboard.

Avoid leaving your password written down anywhere. Don’t give your password to colleagues. Don’t discuss work matters with colleagues in public if it might give hints to your password.

Use a password manager so you don’t need to type your login details. And check software that blocks USB ports.

If you’re concerned, speak to to improve your company’s IT security.

Unsecured Public Wi-Fi

Finding a Wi-Fi hotspot is a great way to get online when you’re on the move. But don’t be fooled into thinking a Wi-Fi hotspot is safe because it asks for a password.

Every time you enter login details, they pass through the hotspot. Hackers can comb through that data and get those details.

The hackers do need to be within range of the hotspot to access the data. But they could be sitting behind you in a cafe or a hotel and you’d never know.

How to Avoid It

Connect to the internet using your phone’s data connection. The coming of 5G should make this easier soon.

Install a security and privacy app on your device. Choose one that includes a VPN that screens the traffic passing in and out of your device.

Stop Hackers from Stealing Data

Hackers are determined so there’s always a chance they’ll be stealing data. But don’t make it easy for them.

Avoid the sloppy practices listed above. No antivirus or firewall can protect you if you click a malicious link. Or hand your password out to a colleague.

And choose a VPN if you want to use free public Wi-Fi. Be vigilant and careful and you can’t go wrong.

Check out our other articles to learn more about digital issues.

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