What information is available to hackers?

You may not even know how much of your personal data is online. Let’s look at some types of this information and figure out why it may be of interest to hackers.

PII (personally identifiable information) – personal information. These include: your name, postal address, email address, insurance policy number, individual taxpayer number, date of birth, medical records, information about studies and work. This data is more than enough to steal your identity. In particular, hackers will be interested in the history of your purchases on Amazon or an investment transaction with an online broker. With the help of this personal data, attackers can compromise your other accounts.

All emails, SMS and instant messages are stored on servers. Your correspondence may contain information that is not intended for prying eyes, such as confidential business documents, romantic messages and letters, or bank account data. Hackers are also interested in your contact lists. Having taken possession of them, attackers will be able to send phishing emails to all your friends.

Your browser data – cookies, provider logs, data plugins – are valuable to advertisers. And with the advent of big data processing technologies, this information has become worth its weight in gold.

Meanwhile, you make calls or hold video conferences over the Internet. Are you sure no one is eavesdropping on you?

You may not realize that someone has been recording your conversations for a long time. Or remember how Facebook insistently invites you to share with your friends a link to an online store where you bought something, or a recently listened song, or how an advertisement for the product you were looking for a couple of weeks ago pops up in the browser.

Hackers are constantly improving their methods. For example, phishing has been one of the standard techniques of cybercriminals for more than a decade: you received an email with a link that either led to a fake website or installed malware on your computer. Right now, attackers are using fake links and hacked social media accounts to steal your personal data.

Public Wi-Fi networks are an amazing thing: thanks to them, you can work from any coffee shop. But at the same time, they are extremely unsafe. Unsecured connections are another way for hackers to get into your device. How to protect yourself and your personal data from this threat?