According to the BBC, the passwords of more than 2 million Facebook and Yahoo users have been stolen and posted online. In what seems like yet another victory for cyber criminals, the BBC believes that this is likely to have happened at a time when devices were infected with malware and recorded “logged key presses.”
According to Spider Labs, this malware collected passwords rapidly, peaking at more than 150,000 per day at one point. While the US was one of the nations whose citizens were attacked, the country only ranked 6th with under 900 reports. However, it would appear that citizens of Netherlands were less fortunate with more than 1 million on the list.
Logged key presses, also known as keystroke logging, occurs when a device is infected with malware. The device can then be monitored so that the order in which the keys are pressed is recorded, thus noting passwords and other important information.
How else can your details be stolen
As you can imagine, cybercriminals are constantly upping their game, looking for more and more ingenious ways to acquire the details of unsuspecting consumers. Facebook and email login details, as well as bank accounts, featured high on their list of targets. There are numerous ways that they can steal our data without us ever being aware that they have. Well, at least until bank accounts are checked, or we get various connected accounts hacked.
Not just Internet café’s, but anywhere there is a public computer, you have to be very careful if you are planning on accessing your Facebook page. If the box for “keep me logged in” is ticked, you could easily have your details stolen in the blink of an eye. Not to mention what could be posted in your name.
The false login
Have you ever read an article or seen a video that you want to share with your friends on Facebook? This is just one of several ways that hackers can steal your login details. By redirecting you to a different page that looks just like Facebook, you could easily hand over your login details of your own free will.
How to protect yourself
Well, the first and most important rule is to always be vigilant. As cybercrime becomes more sophisticated, it’s becoming harder and harder to spot the difference between a real page and a false one, so you need to keep your eyes on the game.
Use anti-virus software
This may sound obvious, however, many people don’t bother with satisfactory anti-virus software. For those who do, it’s also only too easy to let it run out and forget to update straightaway. If yours has run out, then it’s vital to have it updated immediately. It’s also necessary to have layers of protection these days, so ensure that your router password is changed from the default and that you have firewall and identity-theft protection.
Only use secure sites
Whether you’re shopping online or live-streaming television, don’t use a site unless it’s secure. If in doubt, Google it and see what others say on forums about it before going any further.
The amount of people that use “password” or “123456” as their password is incredible. If you use any on this list, change it now. What’s more, while it’s easy to use the same password for every account and device you use, it only increases the danger of you being caught out. Set a different password for everything you use and if needs be, use a password manager for extra safety. There are plenty available online from reputable companies, so pick one that you trust and do it today.
If you’re lucky, you won’t be on this list of stolen passwords and your account is still safe. However, it may only be matter of time - don’t leave it until tomorrow, act now and change your online behavior and your passwords to ensure that it doesn’t happen to you.
Cybercrime is now the most lucrative crime in the world, ranking higher than the international drugs trade. As such, the Internet is full of criminals looking to exploit every possible opportunity. Only by exercising constant vigilance and care you can avoid becoming a victim.