How account takeover happens

Account takeover means that someone gets unauthorized access to your online account. Find out below how that happens.

Account takeover causes online identity theft, when criminals steal personal information stored in online accounts. With stolen accounts and information, hackers can for example buy goods with your credit card or take loans in your name. To take over your accounts, hackers need your pass­word and user­name. Here are 5 ways they can steal them.

1. Stealing login credentials through data breaches

Billions of records of personal information are stolen in data breaches every year. The leaked pass­words and user­names are often just what hackers need to commit account take­over. Because most people use the same login details on multiple accounts, hackers will try to access other online services with the same leaked pass­words and user­names.

2. Breaking in with a computer-generated pass­word

Hackers can break in by simply trying out different pass­words to find the one you use. To speed up the process they use programs that can test tens of billions of pass­words — in a second. This way any 8-character pass­word can be discovered in approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

3. Phishing for login information

Criminals can also just ask victims for their login details. This is done through phishing scams, in which unsuspecting victims are lured into giving their data. Phishing attempts can be done through emails, SMS, scam web­sites, malicious phone applications, chat conversations, phone calls and so on.

4. Using malware and viruses to steal data

Malware and viruses can do multiple things. A typical function is stealing information from the victim’s device. Many viruses can record your key­strokes when you type in your pass­words and others spy on your browser and hi­jack bank information. You can prevent this with anti­virus soft­ware.

5. Spying on your internet traffic

Your internet traffic passes many servers before reaching a web­site. If some­one on the route inter­cepts your traffic, they can see every­thing you do on the inter­net. This includes your pass­words and user­names. Typically, these man-in-the-middle attacks are done through public Wi‑Fi net­works or infected home inter­net routers. You can protect yourself with trust­worthy VPN soft­ware.

F-Secure ID PROTECTION

Do you want to avoid account take­over and identity theft?

F-Secure TOTAL is a cyber security package that protects you from multiple online threats and helps prevent criminals from stealing your information. In addition to anti­virus and VPN, it now includes ID PROTECTION, a handy pass­word manager that monitors your online identity 24/7. When a data breach including your personal information is detected, you will be the first to know.

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