Why should you fear hacking? After all, you’re an ordinary person with no national secrets or valuable data in your online presence, right? Wrong.
Current events have made one thing obvious - no one is safe, celebrity or average Joe. Millions of people have had their personal data stolen, from passwords to Social Security numbers and bank account details. You’ve probably heard about Cambridge Analytica by now, but here are other incidents you may have missed.
- Ashley Madison
This notorious dating website for adulterers got hacked in 2015, leaving 37 million user records open for viewing on the Tor browser. The scope of this security breach ranged from blackmail to bank fraud. Next time you want to start an affair, better do it the old-fashioned way.
- Jeep override
You may think of your vehicle as your fortress, but recent developments have made it possible for hackers to exploit security gaps. A team of researchers hijacked a Jeep SUV, making it speed up and veer off the road remotely using the vehicle’s CAN bus over a cellular network. This type of peripheral-network hack poses many questions about smart homes as well.
- Juice jacking
Free charging stations might seem like a wonderful idea, but you should think twice before using one on your next trip or while you wait at the bus stop. Researchers have found that you can be hacked with a malware at free charging stations. The hack can happen in less than a minute and you might not even know it!
- MSpy abuse
Advertised as a parental control app, jealous lovers and spouses have used MSpy to monitor their significant others through their messages and phone calls. Easy to install and practically undetectable, MSpy could potentially let someone monitor you indefinitely. However, that person does have to install the app manually, so a strong password that you don’t reveal can protect you from this kind of hack.
- Hotspot hacks
If you use the hotspot feature on your phone, make sure you protect it with its own password. Hackers can piggyback off an unsecured signal, using it to transfer illegal materials. Then if the authorities try to track the hackers, guess who they find? That’s right, you!
Still not convinced you should take precautions to protect your online privacy? Then take a look at these examples:
- Camera hacks: Anything from opening an email attachment to downloading a flashlight app from the Play Store can let hackers use your camera to see the world around you. They can also take detailed pictures of your surroundings, either to locate your valuables or snap compromising photos for blackmail. The simplest way to protect yourself in this scenario is to use a webcam cover.
- Microphone hacks: How did your boss hear about your project rant with your colleagues last night after he left? Don’t start the blame game just yet. Your boss may have tapped the phones on the conference table with malware. Even worse, researchers have found a way to use a phone’s gyroscope to detect sound waves, turning it into a microphone as well.
- Tilt sensor hacks: If your smartphone has an accelerometer – and most do now – better keep it at least three inches away from your keyboard. It turns out it can detect what you’re typing with 80% accuracy by using the vibrations the keyboard creates!
- Contactless-card hacks: RFID skimming is becoming a nightmare for more and more people. Hackers can steal and clone your card data without the cards ever leaving your wallet or pocket. In this case, an RFID-blocking card can prevent a disaster.