Nowadays, people manage dozens of accounts on different service providers. There are times when you forget about certain ones, only to rediscover them later. But as the tendencies go, users can skip on potentially the most crucial aspect: their security.
Accounts are frequently targeted by cybercriminals, hoping to break the protection mechanisms guarding them. Depending on how continually you monitor your accounts, you might not even notice if one of them gets targeted or, worse, hacked.
Users’ vigilance when it comes to personal data
Numerous stories on questionable data retrieval surface. Scraping is one of the techniques hackers use to extract data from various sources. It also happens on social media, when hackers obtain and categorize information about their targets. The truth is, similar incidents occur each day, and people’s accounts are something hackers go after frequently.
One of the biggest concerns is that users might not know enough about the importance of their data. More vigilant users will likely use tools like Virtual Private Networks or password managers to fortify their information. However, users may have no idea their accounts have been compromised. One of the reasons why is that they do not know what signs indicate danger. Thus, they skip over them like insignificant instead of looking deeper into their origins.
What are the key factors that lead to data breaches?
There is not one but many factors that lead to data breaches. These are due to both users and the service providers. As a user’s data can be used in various non-friendly ways, one must be careful while using the web.
Here are some key aspects that can lead to data breaches.
One of the most common factors that lead to data breaches is the users’ weak passwords. Not only this, but many of us also tend to set the same password for almost every online account.
Reusing passwords is highly dangerous in terms of security. If any of your accounts got hacked, it would be a cakewalk for the hacker to get his hands on other accounts. So, users need to focus on setting a strong password.
Many people don’t install the latest updates to fix vulnerabilities on our system. And this is the aspect that somehow becomes a lucrative way for the hackers to get their red hands on your data. There is a high chance that you may not even know your data has been hacked. Attackers can exploit vulnerabilities to access your network, accounts, or devices.
Connecting to unknown networks
Not every network you connect to may belong to you. Unknown managers control it, and their reliability is questionable. If you are a fan of free Wi-Fi, accessing it without a VPN can be a mistake. After all, your data might travel unencrypted, meaning that third parties can capture your credentials. Thus, installing a VPN lets you connect to any network safely by encrypting and rerouting your data.
Trusting unsafe websites
If you are looking at some shady website offering suspicious deals, you are inviting trouble. The scammers use tons of tricks to lure users into their trap, and using these sites is one of them. Users end up giving a lot of sensitive information while opting for some dubious services these sites offer.
Therefore, you need to check if the site is safe or not. One simple way of doing this is by checking the web address. It should have an HTTPS extension instead of HTTP along with a padlock. However, you should never let your guard down, even on HTTPS sites.
What do service providers have to do?
While sometimes users are responsible for having their accounts compromised, it is not always the case. Service providers and platform owners are equally responsible if the users’ data gets compromised. Here are some things that platform owners need to do to protect user data.
Why are some users not able to take the required actions if their data is compromised or for security purposes? One clear answer is that the platform owners do not convey their methods and tips.
Using highly technical and confusing language while informing the users can do something else than required. Therefore, platform owners need to define a clear and understandable set of instructions so that every user can comprehend them well.
I’m guilty of being lax in this regard. Hackers will attempt to hack the websites with vulnerable security. I’ve learned to respond quickly now to notifications of login attempts, and if it is an account I don’t use much I just I simply delete the account. But I also make sure the “notification” of attempted login is legitimate because often they are just another type of phishing attept
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