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Some Things You Wouldn’t Want to Experience on the Internet (And How to Avoid Them)

Moneymagpie Team 2nd Dec 2022 No Comments

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By the end of 2019, people eagerly awaited the release of Disney+, a Disney alternative to Netflix with tons of popular movies and TV shows. However, many were not able to log in. Apparently, Disney+ was hit by a massive credential-stuffing attack stealing their accounts.

Disgruntled people accused Disney+ of lousy cybersecurity. But Disney+ had nothing to do with it. Setting up a secure account password is the user’s responsibility. Some had to watch how their accounts were sold on the dark web for half the price and subscribe again.

There are many online dangers you should be aware of. If you don’t want something like this happening to you, continue reading!

Credential Stuffing Attacks

Netizens use many password-protected accounts. However, hackers do their best to steal them and succeed. For example, in 2021, a massive collection of leaked usernames and passwords called “RockYou2021” was passed on hacker forums.

Cybercriminals exploit such leaks via Credential Stuffing Attacks. They use sophisticated software to send massive login requests to various services. For example, if your username and password were exposed during a Facebook data leak, they can try them on Spotify, Netflix, Disney+, etc. In case of success, they steal the account and sell it on the dark web.

Defending against Credential Stuffing is nearly effortless. You should consider using a password manager that allows storing hundreds of different, strong, and complex passwords. Instead of reusing the same password on multiple sites, you can create a different one without remembering it. Moreover, you should check your passwords on haveibeenpwnd.com. It will alert you whether your passwords were leaked, and you will know which ones to change immediately.

Personal Data Safety

Social media incentivizes sharing. Sharing memorable travel experiences is great, but occasionally you may share too much. No one knows it better than a bunch of celebrities that got their most intimate pictures stolen from Apple iCloud in 2014.

Firstly, you should be mindful of what you share over social media or upload to the Cloud. However, it doesn’t mean you have to stop sharing altogether. There’s professional software you can use to protect your private online data.

Consider using data encryption software. It will encrypt your files before uploading them to the Cloud preventing unauthorized access. Even if hackers manage to get their hands on your private data, they cannot decipher it.

Secure Financial Transactions

Online banking operations are a game changer. The Covid-19 pandemic clearly proved the value of online shopping. However, Covid also increased cyber attacks against individual users and their home computer networks. Hackers expected to see an increase in online shopping and quickly adapted. Having your banking credentials stolen might be the worst thing you experience online, resulting in financial losses.

Cybersecurity experts worldwide recommend using VPNs to secure home network Internet connection. A VPN will establish a secure tunnel between your device and the Internet. It will encrypt online data traffic, making it indecipherable to malicious spectators. VPNs protect against man-in-the-middle attacks, which are thoroughly used to steal banking credentials.

Moreover, VPNs remain relevant after the pandemic. After the lockdown, many traveled to refresh their minds after a challenging period. And what do travellers use a lot? That’s right, public Wi-Fi networks. You should be aware that public Wi-Fi is by no means safe. They often lack sufficient cybersecurity protocols to protect your online activities. Be sure to use a VPN whenever you connect to public Wi-Fi to avoid unnecessary troubles, especially if you’re planning on doing banking operations.

Honorable Mention: 2FA and MFA

Two-factor authentication (2FA) or Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the best ways to increase online safety. Whether we’re talking about online data safety, account security, or bank access, it will provide numerous benefits. Banks usually use 2FA by default.

2FA requires a second confirmation before granting you access to a specific account. For example, if you have 2FA enabled on Facebook, it will ask for additional verification after you input the username and password. Facebook can send you an SMS or an email or ask a security question (What is your favourite book?) Even if cybercriminals obtain your login details, they cannot pass the second step.

MFA is even more complex, using multiple verification steps after the initial login. It might include physical key protection, biometric data, authentication apps, etc.

Remaining Safe Online

This list is by no means exhaustive, but discussed software will keep you much safer online. Remember – hackers are looking for the easiest targets. Upon noticing you use cybersecurity software, they will often turn towards unprotected devices.

DisclaimerMoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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