How Do Hackers Gain Your Device Access?

hackers hacking and cracking

Have you or someone close to you been hacked? Or, you are a curious soul who wants to know more about this threat.

Hackers have been around since the dawn of the digital age. We usually use this term for those people who do nasty online stuff to harm your device in some manner.

But the main question that keeps coming to anyone who knows about hackers is:

How do they do it?

How is it possible for someone to sit somewhere else and dig into my device?

If you have similar questions in your mind, then let us help you get a few things clear.

In this article, we discuss some basic tactics generally used by hackers.

Leaving the fuss behind, Let’s get started.

What are Hackers?

Hackers usually find out vulnerabilities on the internet or on the devices we own. You can distinguish them in two categories.

White hat hackers: These hackers find out the loopholes in a system and tell companies to rectify them.

Black hat hackers: These hackers use their knowledge of the system and bypass any security measures. They use hacking with an ill intention like stealing money from you or accessing personal data. Black hat hackers are the ones from whom you should be careful.

Some hackers work for the government—hackers employed by secret services or police. The common man poses no threat from them. They are said to be the top-level hackers. They use their knowledge to access terrorist files, criminal records, and hostile regimes.

How Do Hackers Get into Your System?

There are countless methods for hackers to get into your system. But, we don’t want to make you feel overwhelmed with the knowledge. So, let’s discuss some basic techniques and how to tackle them.

Phishing

Phishing is an online fraud where fraudsters trick users to provide sensitive information. You might have encountered such mail yourself. Criminals convince people to give information like credit card details by saying they need to verify it, or the card might get blocked.

It might also appear as a survey you need to fill for some lucky draw. Criminals ask you your email id and some personal questions that can be used to hack into your online account. Once they get into your email account, they can get access to your social media accounts too.

How does it work?

Whenever you receive such mail, they might ask you to reply with some confidential details or provide a link. The catch is criminals use email addresses similar to some big company. Therefore, it can be easy to misunderstand them for certified mail.

For example: If the sender uses bankofamerica.bankmailservice.com, you should know that Bank of America didn’t send the email. If it was genuine, it should say @bankofamerica.com.

Also, check for minute details in email id like ‘accounts@gmail.com’ and ‘accounts@gmall.com.’ Did you find any difference?

Hint: l for an eye.

How to stay safe?

Always check the email address and email body for grammatical errors. Government and reliable companies never let any grammatical errors in their copy. Also, if you find such an email addressing you with ‘Dear Sir/Madam,’ beware. Your bank already has your details; they often address you by your name.

In short, being conscious at the moment, and looking for errors can save you a fortune. We recommend trying to contact the authority who sent the mail and clear any doubts.

Malware

Another way to get your system details is by sending malware to your device. If you click on some unknown link and it downloads a file with ‘.exe.’ extension, then know for sure that it is a virus.

Malwares can be in your browser too. It hides under some other extension/add-ons like an adblocker and sends all your data to cybercriminals.

Some apps like key loggers can record your every keystroke and send it to hackers for analysis. Hence, all of your sensitive information like credit card numbers and passwords can be exposed.

How to stay safe?

The most effective way to tackle viruses is by installing a competent antimalware program like MalwareFox into your device. Antimalware applications can stop malwares from entering your system in real-time. To know how to remove any malware from your system, you can follow easy steps on SmartPCUser.

Another way to protect your passwords is by using a password manager. A password manager allows you to use a single master password instead of your real password for the account. It autofills the log in detail. Therefore, any key logger application can never know your details.

Malicious Mobile Apps

If you ever install an app from a random website, there is a chance it may be bundled with some malicious code. Apps available on the Playstore and Apple store go through sharp scrutiny. Therefore the chances of having a malicious code attached with it is minimal.

However, you can never be sure about what the app can do with your device. If it has enough access, a hacker can remotely control your device, track your location, and steal your data.

How to stay safe?

Always check for permission associated with apps if you download any new app. All apps need minimal permissions to work on your device.

For example, a camera app requires a ‘Camera’ and ‘Microphone’ permission to capture photos and videos. But if it has access to your contact list, that doesn’t make sense.

Also, try not to download apps from unknown websites.

Insecure networks

Let it be a public Wi-Fi or some unknown site; if your data is not encrypted, you are at risk of exposing your privacy. Hackers can snoop your data by using some free apps, also available to download. They can know your browsing habits, IP address, search queries, and pages you visit.

How does it work?

Let’s say you are using a public Wi-Fi network. All the data that you are browsing and downloading is passed through the host network. If a hacker has access to its logs, he can download the data.

How to stay safe?

Never use public Wi-Fi to make any online purchase. Try not to use such networks to transfer files between your devices, or with anyone for that manner.

When browsing a site that requires you to enter sensitive information, check if the connection is encrypted or not.

You can confirm the connection as secure by looking for the ‘Lock’ icon before the URL. Else, the website’s address starts with ‘https://.’

Physical security threats

When it comes to hacking, we often neglect physical threats, making it the most effective and simple way to hack into your system.

A person can connect a USB drive into your system and send malwares into it. If you don’t have an antivirus program installed on your system, then you can lose all of your data.

A hacker can also establish a personal relationship with you to make you reveal personal information. Some basic questions, like your pet’s name, your first school, and more like them, are widely used as security questions.

How to stay safe?

This one is tricky because if the hacker wants, he can convince you with any means. But if we remove you from the equation, then you can make it hard for the hacker to gain access to your device.

For a start, never leave your device unattended. Always keep your bank details to yourself. No matter how close someone is to you, never reveal your pin or password for sensitive data.

Always keep a strong password for your device, which is hard to guess even by your close ones.

More Points to Remember

  • Use two-factor authentication for your accounts. You can check if your service provides 2fa here.
  • Keep passwords for your hard drive or USB containing confidential data.
  • Use security apps for stolen devices. To know about the best apps available, click here.
  • Never click random links on untrustworthy sites.

Overview

With the hike in security measures, hackers are also getting smarter by the day. But this is not a bad thing. Since many resources are invested in security by leading technology companies, they can rectify the problem quickly.

A hacker won’t put much effort to breach your device if you have maintained proper security measures (until and unless you are a celebrity). The critical point is that you can never be entirely secure from hackers, but you can make it hard for them from hacking your system.

Hackers are not always harmful; they help developers to pin out and overcome any security issue. Their relationship with each other is like Batman and Joker; they complete each other.

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Posted by Biodun

Passionate about Technology and everything concerning it. Avid Gamer and Music Lover. Loves Chelsea FC. Overall, a nice guy. Find me on Instagram and Twitter.

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