Hacking 2.0: The NEW Way Hackers Steal Your Money…
I will never get scammed.
I mean, why would I?
My computer has the best protection software. I don’t take phone calls from unknown numbers. And my passwords are all the strongest they can possibly be.
That’s what most of us think. And it’s true, your computer, now more than ever, is secure against the typical hack.
But hackers aren’t all sitting in a basement running some elaborate code. They’re turning to a more insidious way to scam you… possibly right under your nose.
It’s something called human hacking.
And it’s scarily easy. All they need is just a bit of information about you that just about anyone can find online.
There are ways to guard against it, however, if you know what to look out for.
That’s why I’ve asked my colleague Beau Henderson to go over the details. Today, he’s sharing what these scams are and how to make sure you don’t fall victim to one.
Let’s dive in…
The Weakest Link
While people of all ages can be subjected to scams, older Americans are often the biggest target. And they’re cheated out of an estimated $3 billion per year.
So I don’t doubt that you’re already on the lookout to protect yourself.
But you might not be taking all the precautions you possibly could, especially when it comes to one form of hacking — human hacking.
Human hacking — or otherwise known as social engineering — is not your typical scam.
It doesn’t prey on the flaws of computers, but on the people behind the computers.
Just think about what it takes for you to get into your own account…
Online, you need at least a username and password, information that isn’t readily known by anyone but yourself. And having a strong password in those situations is important.
But while hackers might try and get into accounts this way, after a certain amount of unsuccessful tries, your account will lock them out.
Therefore, an increasingly easier approach for a hacker is to use information they can find about you on the web and call in pretending to be you. If they have your phone number, there is widely-used software to make the line they’re dialing in from show up as your number on caller ID.
From there, your name, address and birthday are equally as easy to find, even if you consider yourself a private person.
Just a few calls to some places you have purchased from in the past, or a quick look at your Facebook wall or the Facebook’s of your friends and family can show where you live and what your birthday is… as well as other useful information.
But those three things alone — name, address and birthday — can be enough to authenticate your identity for an unsuspecting customer service representative just trying to help “you” out.
It’s the customer service rep that they count on to be the weak link. And it often works.
While our computers have evolved with this tech-heavy world, our over-the-phone methods are stuck in the dark ages. It makes that side of business an easy target for social engineering hackers.
It’s not always your bank account they go after either, but areas that have less security built in.
Think about your frequent flyer miles you’ve built over the years… your eBay account that’s hooked up to your credit card…
All are subject to be hacked and stolen by social engineers.
So, now that you know what it is, what can you do about it?
Locking Down Your Info…
The first and most important rule when protecting your identity against human hacking starts online.
If you do have social media accounts, make sure your profile is set as private as possible.
Giving up information like your birthday or where you just vacationed can be a big help to social engineers trying to pose as you. Make sure your family and friends know this as well and urge them to keep your information private.
Also, keep any information of products you’ve bought or help you try and get online just between you and the company you purchased from.
If someone is trying to find out more about you and sees that you bought and reviewed something from a furniture retailer recently, they can call in as you to obtain information like your shipping address. That can help them later on as they dive deeper into taking over your accounts.
Additionally, don’t be overly trusting of any emails or calls that ask you to give up login information and keep a close eye on your accounts. Even small changes can mean you aren’t the only one with access.
After that, it’s up to companies to keep your information safe. So, make sure that the companies you are trusting with your personal information have good privacy policies.
It might be a little inconvenient putting up more security questions to verify identity or requiring more frequent password changes, but in the end, you’ll be better off knowing that no one can come in pretending to be you that easily.
Most of all, your best protection is knowing these social engineers are out there trying to trick you.
You may not be totally safe from a scam — no one is. But you can certainly make it as hard as possible for hackers to get in.
Here’s to living rich,
Retirement Coach, Beau Henderson