Do you know how scammers get your data?
Hello and welcome back to our newsletter. Today we are going to talk about how scammers obtain your personal data and how you can stop them in the future.
Let’s look at how scammers get your personal information:
1. Hacking your personal accounts
People often use very simple passwords for their accounts, and we completely understand this: to make it easier for them to remember it. From these, many use the same password for multiple accounts for the same reason, to remember it. Unfortunately this method makes it a lot easier for scammers to get into your accounts, and get any piece of information they want from there. This obviously depends on the type of account, but they can get anything from just your name or email address to even bank accounts or credit history.
Scammers will use this information against you in order to manipulate you into disclosing even more data or to get your money.
We are sure you heard about a scam telling people that they have to pay some tax to HMRC. This scam was made by calling people and threatening them into paying for something they don’t have to, and unfortunately many fell victims to this.
In 2019, there were many scams involving investments and pensions, as well as targeted purchase ads on social media. All these frauds and scams from 2019 had a value of £824.8 million. We know, it’s a large loss across the country.
Let’s look at a solution for this. The first one, and probably the most obvious one, is VPN. VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a piece of software that can be used on all devices, computer, laptop, tablet, phone, which protects you online, and makes it harder or even impossible for you to be tracked.
If you want to use this option, simply search online for VPN services, and you will find plenty of options to choose from.
The second solution for this issue is to stop companies (like Facebook, Amazon or even your local shop) bombarding you with ads. By stopping organisations using your data for marketing purposes, it will become a lot easier for you to spot scams online.
If you want to use this option, you can simply Get in Touch with us or Subscribe to our Free Trial here.
2. Data breaches
Fraudsters can also obtain your personal data from companies through a data breach. In 2020 alone there were over 1000 cases of data breaches and over 267 million records disclosed. This means that there were over 1000 organisations that faced data breaches and over 267 million people around UK that were affected by this.
The main point of a data breach is for hackers to obtain user’s personal data and then track and expose them to scams.
Because of this, companies face very large fines, but the real victims are in fact their users.
On average, one person has over 50 apps on their phone, and the chances are that all those 50 apps require some sort of login, which also translates to user personal data.
Many organisations also profit from your personal data, beside the fact that you use their products or services, they may also share or even sell this information to other companies.
Let’s say you have 50 apps on your phone, all of them with their own personal account (usually at least user name, email address and password). From those 50 apps, we can guarantee that at least half of them shared or sold your personal data to other firms, which can also do the same thing. This process will actually expose you to 100s of companies that you never even heard of, let alone used them. Because this happens a lot, you can become even more exposed to data breaches. You may hear that a company where you’re “not a user or customer” had a data breach, but the chances are, even your information was exposed from that organisation.
This is really scary for everyone.
Fortunately, we already thought of that, and made it possible and easier for you to track your data online.
Usually the process starts with the companies you know and use, and find from them if they sold your data, and if so, to whom. You will be really surprised to see what companies have it.
Another process for this services starts at the end. This usually happens when you receive a surprise email from a random company telling you “thanks for subscribing” or welcoming you to their platform, even though you may never heard of them. This is a bit unusual, but it can happen. You can see a similar story from one of our colleagues here.
If you want to start tracking your data, you can do so by subscribing to our services for free. Don’t worry, we don’t require a login, and all your information will never be shared or sold, and will be automatically deleted from our system once the free trial ends.
We hope you have learned something new and interesting today, and that we shed some light on how to protect yourself online.