You might think that hackers are only after your credit card numbers, and that you don’t need to worry about other information online. After all, what can they do with non-financial information? Actually, plenty. Remember that criminals can get pretty creative when creating scams, and therefore can find a way to make money off of just about anything you do on your computer.
Your webcam. By infecting your computer with a remote administration tool (RAT), hackers can remotely control your webcam. In other words, they can turn it on and watch you while you work. Eek! In many cases they just do this for “fun”, but in other cases victims have been extorted or harassed. Some of those with more “exotic” hobbies will pay the hacker in order to watch you go about your daily work, as bizarre as that sounds. If you’re female, a hacker can charge others one dollar per day by making you into the unwitting star of your very own Truman Show.
Your social media account. Why on earth would someone want access to your Twitter account? They can’t exactly sell it, right? No, but they can use it to distribute spam, or try to scam your friends and family out of cash by pretending to be you. They might simply use it to break into your other online accounts, where more information is stored.
Your medical information. On the black market, personal medical information is actually more valuable than credit card numbers. After all, you can cancel your card and change the number. It’s much more difficult to change your Social Security number, Medicare account number, or other health insurance information. This data can be sold or traded on the black market, and used in identify theft or insurance scams.
Using your computer as part of a “botnet”. Sometimes hackers infect a number of computers, which they then use to gather personal information, sneak in malware such as banking Trojans, or even force your computer to participate in criminal activities like DDoS attacks on websites. You could even be distributing spam and malware to others without even knowing it! Along with financial fraud, a hacker can make money from their “botnets” through extortion (blackmailing you) or selling access to your computer (to other hackers).
Your Uber account. Unbelievably, even Uber accounts have been hacked. The account stores your credit card or Paypal information, for one thing. And scammers have even used Uber profiles to set up fake drivers and bill people for rides they never took!
Your frequent flyer miles. Yes, even your frequent flyer account can be hacked. The criminal can then sell your miles, use the miles for themselves, or even sell the entire account to someone else.
You were probably surprised by a few of these scenarios. So were millions of victims! To prevent hackers from gaining access to your personal information, give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH and we can give you tips on securing your network.
Stay tuned in April for Part Two of this series in which we will share ways to prevent these things from happening to you.