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Little-Known Ways Hackers Pilfer Your Personal Information

May 29, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Boris Dzhingarov, Independent Technology Author

You’ve likely heard of some of the more common ways online hackers can steal your information and commit identity theft, but there are more than a few additional vulnerabilities that might shock you. Remain diligent in your efforts to protect your passwords while you’re online, but make sure you stay up-to-date on the newest ways hackers can worm their way into your life, your personal information and your finances.

Frequent Flier Miles

The next time you book a flight, you might notice that you don’t have as many frequent flier miles as you expect, and that’s if you even have miles left. Hackers can get ahold of your login information and use it to book a free flight or take advantage of any other perks you have. While you might be able to recover those miles, you’re much better off making sure you change your airline passwords and keep a close eye on your account.

Connected Cars

Cars are becoming more futuristic by the day, with keyless entry, tire pressure monitoring and being connected to your phone. Such convenient features are all well and good, but they are another vulnerability of which you should be aware. Thankfully, it’s still quite an arduous task to hack into a car, but that’s certainly not for a lack of trying. If you either have or are thinking about getting a new car with these features, be sure you find out how you can protect yourself from becoming one of the first victims.

Health Insurance

It seems as if health insurance will always be a popular topic of discussion, and now there’s something else to think about. Specifically, medical identity theft involves using someone else’s health benefits to obtain health services. Not only is your insurance hacked, you also have to untangle your health records from someone else’s the next time you go to the doctor. Much like regular identity theft, medical identity theft can take quite a lot of time and money to sort out. Do yourself a favor and keep a close eye on your insurance paperwork to see if you notice any mysterious Explanation of Benefits statements. Additionally, ask your insurance provider how medical identity theft is handled so you have an idea of what to do should you become a victim.

Public or Office Copy Machines

Be careful of what you print out on the office copy machine or a public printer. This is because sensitive information can be stored on a copy machine or printer, which can then be hacked. Cybercriminals can take this one step further and hack into all computer wirelessly linked to the printer or copy machine. Besides watching what you print, you should check with your boss to see if the copy machine or printer has security measures that keep hackers out. As far as a public computer at a library, your best bet is to not print out anything you wouldn’t want to end up in the hands of a criminal.

Company Chat Systems

In an effort to keep everyone in the loop and on the same page, some companies have started using chat systems such as Slack and HipChat. Both services have been hacked in the past, with encrypted passwords, usernames, email addresses, phone numbers and names being pilfered. While the hacks only applied to a small percentage of users, it’s best that you get into the habit of changing your password regularly and looking into two-factor authentication.

Kids Toys

Just like cars, kids toys are also become more technologically advanced, with some of them being able to access the internet. Know that this connection can work two ways. Some newer toys record conversations, which serves as a security concern. With enough information, cybercriminals can open up credit accounts in a child’s name, racking up thousands of dollars in debt and ruining a child’s credit score before she or he is even old enough to have a credit card. When the child is old enough to open an account, she or he might be in for a very rude awakening upon learning that her or his credit score and report have already been driven into the ground.

Remain well-informed when it comes to online crimes. Put these tips to good use, and always think twice when it comes to using devices that connect to the internet. A little caution is sure to go a long way in protecting your information.


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