It is common to see cases of computers or smartphones being hacked because someone gained access to the users’ passwords or because their data was leaked onto the internet due to a security breach. In extreme cases there is not much you can do, but it is important that you know the main methods currently used to discover and steal your passwords.
This way, you can have a much better sense of how to defend yourself and avoid this type of situation. We have separated the 7 most commonly used tactics used to steal passwords down below! Check it out!
Index of this article
1. Common combinations
The most common tactic that often works is to use common combinations when entering a password. Hackers usually have a list of all the most used passwords around the world, which are usually “abcde”, “12345”, “777777”, “password”, “qwerty”, etc.
Our tip is to always research what are the most used combinations in the world when creating a password and avoid them as much as possible. Typically, this information is released annually by security and antivirus companies, for example. People looking to steal your passwords will be aware of these commonly used ones, and so should you to better avoid them.
2. Simple combinations
When a common combination doesn’t work, hackers resort to using slightly more complex passwords. This usually involves numbers, letters, and symbols mixed together in different ways, but all in all, these combinations can still be fairly simple.
This takes a lot more work and not everyone will have the patience to make an attack of this type if there is no certainty of some benefit behind the password in question. Still, they will try combinations like “q2w3e4r5t”, “zxcvbnm” and “qwertyuiop”.
To avoid this, create even more complex passwords, with upper and lower case letters, numbers and various symbols mixed together. The more unlikely your password is, the harder it is for someone to guess it.
Another common tactic is Phishing, which consists of those e-mails that pretend to be social network links, an online service or even your bank. They do this to encourage you to log in to your account, which automatically gives them your username and password at the same time.
Recently, an email posing as PayPal started popping up with the following message: “Your account was accessed from a different computer, click here to change your password and keep your account safe.” It’s easy to make a person desperate with such an email, which wouldn’t even make them doubt its authenticity at the first moment and put their password, credit card and bank account at risk.
Our recommendation is that you never click on this type of email, no matter how urgent it may seem. First of all, do a search for the exact message received and verify the email address. In a few minutes it is possible to find out if it is a case of Phishing or not. Remember that Phishing is not only dangerous because people can steal your passwords, but also because your personal information is valuable!
4. Personal information
There is no worse enemy when creating your password than using parts of your personal information in it. Putting in names, combinations of important dates, addresses or even birthdays is the equivalent of begging someone to hack into your accounts at some point.
Anyone who does a little research on you on the internet will be able to access this information, either through data found by Google or by Facebook. Therefore, avoid any combination that refers to something in your personal life.
Finally, we have one of the most obvious and most efficient tactics used to steal your passwords: malware. Unlike more powerful viruses, they aren’t as apparent because their goal is to steal your data without you knowing it or without disrupting your overall PC or smartphone usage.
This causes thousands of people to have malware on their devices without even thinking about it, which is obviously a very dangerous situation. To prevent this from happening to you, keep your antivirus updated, scan it frequently and avoid suspicious websites full of pop-up ads.
6. Your router’s default password
When you receive the router provided by your ISP, it will have a default password. Generally, this password is written on a sticker on the device itself to facilitate its configuration in the first uses.
However, it is recommended that you change the password as soon as possible for a more secure combination. If you choose to leave the original password, chances are someone will discover it, as it can be weak or found out by anyone who visits your home.
Our suggestion is that you change this password as soon as possible and choose a safe combination that no one outside your circle of trust has access to.
7. Social interaction
Another very common way to steal your passwords is through simple social interactions. It’s very easy to find out someone’s personal details in casual conversation, including birthday, full name, relatives, favorite movies, etc.
This can be used to crack a password, especially for people who often use elements like the ones above to create them. There is also the case that a neighbor asks for the Wi-Fi password because he is having problems with the internet. In this case, he may discover variations of your password and try to use it on different accounts you have.
That’s why we reiterate the importance of not using personal information in passwords and not sharing it with anyone you don’t know very well.
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Did you like these security tips?
Lots of malicious people out there looking to steal your passwords! Were these tips any helpful? Did you already go through something like this? Leave a comment down below, let us know!