This Halloween, it’s all Trick and No Treat from Hackers
There’s a lot that can spook you around Halloween, but the real horror is how hackers get your information. In fact, when it comes to these cybercriminals, it’s all trick and no treat—for you, at least. So how do these evil-doers get their kicks?
Here’s what’s hiding in the hackers’ bag of tricks
Truth is, these tricksters don’t even knock—and they may be long gone before you realize you’ve been had. And if you’re wondering how to stop hackers, you have to know how they carry out their scary deeds. So, let’s peek into the hackers’ bag of tricks and see what we find.
Hackers go phishing
They may not dress up in a costume with waders or fishing caps, but hackers know how to fish—for your data, that is. It’s called phishing, and it’s the commonly-used tactic of sending emails that are intended to get you to give up your info. They may promise financial winnings or prizes, or maybe it’s someone who claims to desperately need your help. Their end goal is to get you to give your personal info, often including your banking information, or getting you to wire money. Hackers can be really crafty, dressing their emails up in ways that even make them look like they’re from a legitimate company, and as a result many people fall for phishing scams. It’s terrifying how good they are! Take great care so phishing scams don’t fool you.
Viruses and Trojan Horses
When hackers are at the virtual door, many of us answer, and that enables them to infect your computer with a virus that can capture your data. The result can be that a hacker sends spam from your account, or attacks others. A “trojan horse” can be concealed in an email as an attachment file that you are asked to open. Before you know it, a malicious file is installed on your computer. These tricks can even be concealed inside a pop-up window that tells you to update your software. Keep your security software up to date to bypass these tricks, and when you’re online, use common sense before clicking on updates or files that seem suspicious.
Ransomware can also be disguised in a costume that looks legit. Instead, it downloads to your computer when you’ve clicked a malicious link or downloaded a file. When the time is right, the hacker turns your computer into a house of horrors—by locking down your operating system or taking away your data until you pay a ransom to get it back. This scam can be used against individuals and companies, like many of these hacker tricks, so we should all be scared.
Hackers may be in hiding, but you can beat them
Now that you know some of the common tricks in a hacker’s bag, you’ll want to know how to stop hackers from doing their misdeeds. Keep your security software up to date, be wise about clicking on links and opening files, regularly change your passwords and practice good cyber hygiene overall. The tactics for how hackers get your information are always changing and becoming increasingly more sophisticated. Stay a step ahead, and be sure to protect your business by partnering with our trusted cybersecurity experts.
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