How Hackers Steal Your Data and How to Protect Yourself

Rohan Mathew

The 21st century has been an era of digitalization. The world has become a smaller place with the increasing mediums of communication. The introduction of social platforms has brought our personal lives to the network. Every sector today relies on the network for core o fits functionalities. However, these advancements have also resulted in several crimes in cyberspace, such as data breaches, system hacks, and lots more. The technical tools have aided the cyberpunks in this process. 

Reports of hacking groups breaching the cybersecurity of high-level firms have been quite frequent in recent years. 

There are several ways of cybercrimes being carried out of which password theft is the most common. Large corporations and agencies could be bankrupt when their password gets stolen. Further, the information of the users also stands at risk of being misused in such cases. To avoid such instances, maintaining proper cybersecurity practices could prevent the same. 

Discussed below are some ways in which cyberpunks steal passwords and the ways to safeguard yourself against them. 

Using Public WiFi

When you surf on the web, the network your browse through becomes a crucial factor in determining your security. An unencrypted network such as public WiFi is often a source of several malware programs embedded by cyberpunks looking to steal data. The malware programs are purposely laid to breach through your system and access your personal information. The process of stealing data packets through unencrypted networks is called packet sniffing. 

To avoid such instances, an easy way to secure data is by hiding your IP address. For this purpose, surfing on the web while connecting with a VPN can hide your data from prying eyes. It is also useful while carrying out business transactions and deals to keep the communication private. Your data stays hidden from the ISP and malicious third-party groups by an encrypted channel of transmission. 

Credential Stuffing 

Every year, many incidents of data loss through password break-ins are reported. This is a menace, especially when businesses are operating for some major events. Credential stuffing is the practice of stealing the dumping user passwords from sites with poor security. The reason for stealing these passwords is because several people use the same passwords across multiple accounts. Hence such passwords are stolen and tested for various sites by malicious groups. 

If the credentials match, these passwords are sold on the dark web, putting your data vulnerable to misuse. The most effective way to prevent this occurrence is to have unique passwords for multiple accounts across the web. You may also use password manager software for this purpose. It keeps a record of all your passwords and also suggests strong passwords. This could help to keep your data safe and privacy intact. 


Phishing is one of the most common methods adopted by various malicious groups to steal data. Phishing is an act of getting account credentials from users through attractive offers or some trickery by posing as a legitimate site. The process is usually carried over emails; however, text messages – smishing-are also sub-type to carry out phishing. These emails and messages comprise a link that, upon being clicked, activates the process of hacking the system. 

Once the user inputs login credentials, the credentials are stolen. Further, an embedded malware breaches through the software programs and gets access to all the system’s data. Several big agencies have suffered immense losses due to phishing operations. There are several measures you may adapt to prevent such instances. 

The first step is to use two-factor authentication (2FA) for your accounts. Further, installing a spam email detecting system and having a disposable email for work purposes could be used. 


There have been drastic advancements in the 21st era in terms of technology. Today every person has their personal lives linked on the web. Social media platforms have contributed immensely to bring the world closer. However, this has also activated the cybercriminals to carry out their malicious deeds. Reports of data breaches, identity theft, and government systems hacked have become more adverse. Several measures have been adapted to fight the same. 

The core of most data breaches has been identified to be password break-ins. To counter this, the most effective remedy includes using a VPN. Further, to stay safe against credential stuffing techniques, the most effective remedy is to have unique passwords across all accounts. A password manager app may also be used for this purpose. 

Another well-known way of password theft is phishing. To avoid the same, keeping caution is the best way. Usually, the phishing emails posing as some legitimate site have slight errors that distinguish them. A spam email detecting system or a disposable work-only email are some ways to safeguard your data. Data security is a responsibility that needs to be looked into in this era.