Your usernames and passwords are the keys to your accounts. You use them to access email, banks, credit cards, shopping platforms, gaming websites, and more. With your login credentials, a hacker can steal the following from you:

  • Money
  • Credit card details
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Emails
  • Documents
  • Intellectual property
  • And more

worried women looking at cell phone - hack

It’s a good idea to learn about ways hackers try to breach accounts to shield yourself. Here are a few methods cybercriminals employ to get your usernames and passwords:

1. Brute Force Attack

So, what is a brute force attack and how can it affect you? In layman’s terms, a brute force attack is where an attacker tries to break into accounts by guessing as many usernames and passwords as possible. While some threat actors may try a limited number of usernames and passwords, others will attempt tens of thousands of attacks.

That’s why you must set a long and sophisticated password that features uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, your password should not have any recognizable patterns, such as words and dates. You can always use a password manager to set complicated passwords and remember them for you.

Here are common passwords that hackers love to crack:

  • 123456
  • Password
  • 111111
  • qwerty
  • abc123
  • iloveyou
  • picture1

In addition to a strong password, you should enable two-factor authentication to protect your accounts further.

2. Spyware

Spyware is a powerful and sneaky malware that allows hackers to watch you quietly. Bad actors can use spyware to read your login credentials and hack into your accounts before it’s too late because the malware shows very few symptoms if any.

You may be the victim of spyware if your accounts are suddenly hacked or if you notice that some strangers know your secrets. Use top anti-malware software immediately should you suspect a spyware attack. Please also avoid clicking on suspicious links, going to untrustworthy websites, or downloading free software because they carry malware infections.

3. Keyloggers

Keyloggers are an unsophisticated yet incredibly effective type of spyware that record your keystrokes. Software keyloggers can be eliminated with anti-malware tools and are delivered through infected links. Hardware keyloggers are harder to get rid of because they must be removed physically. Look for any suspicious device attached to your computer if you suspect that you’re the target of a hardware keylogger.

4. Phishing

Malicious people deceive targets into sharing their usernames and passwords with social engineering attacks like phishing. For example, you may receive a phishing email from your favorite retailer that takes you to a fake website for a shopping deal.

When you enter your user name and password on the fake platform, you unwittingly hand over your login credentials to someone else. To stay safe from phishing, watch out for red flags on email, social media, and text messages. Verify the source of a suspicious email if you have any concerns.

In their desire to gain our login credentials, hackers use more robust tools and more intelligent attack vectors. The best way to stay safe is to remain vigilant, use strong passwords, and download top anti-malware tools.


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