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The most common hacking techniques you should be aware of

Matt Avatar By: Matt | Last updated March 11, 2020

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There’s probably no Internet user out there who hasn’t fallen victim to a hacking technique at least once in all his web surfing experience. 

Hackers have a lot of schemes and scams up their sleeve and the less tech savvy and careful you are, the worst you’ll get hacked.

Aside from the genius, complex tactics used by some hackers, there are a lot of common ones that seem to be all time favorites.

Here are some of the most popular hacking techniques you should look out for:

  • The DDos (Distributed Denial of Service) attack: this cyber-attack basically means that the hacker will crash down your website by overloading it with traffic until the site can’t process all the incoming data. Sometimes, hackers will use this method only to blackmail you and ask for money to ‘spare’ you from becoming a victim, even though they don’t really plan anything. They will try to scare you through threatening e-mails and give you deadlines to pay them certain amounts of money. Don’t fall for that old trick!
  • Phishing is another common hacking technique that works by replicating a popular website and sending a malicious link to the user. If you are naïve enough to log in and fill in your information on the fake site, the hacker can get access to all that private data.
  • Trojans and other virus software. They get installed on your computer and constantly send information to the hacker. The most complex ones can even lock your files or infect your entire computer.
  • Cookie theft is another common technique. Cookies store valuable information about your preferences, personal or even financial data, your passwords and so on. It is therefore understandable why a hacker would want access to them. Once hackers manage to steal them, they can decrypt them and get access to all that information. This is another aspect in which VPNs are very important, especially when you are not connected to your own private home network. Try to use public networks as little as possible and also clear your cache on your computer as often as you can. This way you will get rid of some of those cookies so there aren’t as many to steal.
  • Fake browser locker. This happens when you get those page warnings on your browser notifying you that your computer ‘is infected’. Although the window may look authentic to those blue pages from Microsoft for instance, they are fake. Their purpose is for you to panic and call the number displayed into that window, which is nothing more than a fake help center.
  • The bait and switch technique is another popular one. Hackers make an attractive ad on a website and once you click on it, it directs you to an infected page.  Once you land on that page your computer gets infected with various malware. Hackers can then access the data on your computer through the malicious software that was installed on your machine.

Many of these issues are encountered when visiting random websites and can sometimes be avoided by using a VPN service to protect you from some other common types of hacking. If browser exploits or pop ups are based on geo location a VPN that changes your location to the website might make them avoid targeting you with their infections.