How to Know if Hackers are Stealing Your Private Data Online?

How to Know if Hackers are Stealing Your Private Data Online?
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In recent years, large Internet companies have consistently admitted to data breaches of hundreds of millions of their users. Hackers get their hands on mailbox addresses, logins, encrypted passwords, and phone numbers. But all this is far away and, at first, does not concern you at all. However, do not relax, because hackers do not hesitate to hack into computers of ordinary users. So, how do you know that you have been hacked and what you have to do in this situation?

Key signs that your private data has become the target of a hackers attack

Spotting that someone else has connected to your computer or device is quite simple. The main feature is a suspicious activity.

If the computer turns itself on and off, windows in your OS open and close without your participation, if applications start to slow down – all these are signals that the computer is infected. If that type of problem is spotted, it will be enough for most users to check the status of their antivirus tool: it must be installed and updated to the latest version. It is worth scanning and if it does not show anything, most likely there is no infection.

How do I know if my passwords are okay?

You can check your email or account security status on the “Have I have Been Pwned” site created by Microsoft manager Troy Hunt. He collected almost eight billion accounts from nearly four hundred hacked services in one database.

The service reports all known leaks where your mailbox or username is mentioned. Each item of the summary on this site is provided with brief information: when and under what conditions the leak occurred, what kind of data did the hackers get, and in what form it was stolen – open or encrypted.

How to Know if Hackers are Stealing Your Private Data Online?

But user accounts are constantly being hacked. Can this process be somehow automated?

Yes, it can be done. Google developers have created the Password Checkup extension for the Chrome browser. It will itself check your username and password bindings against the database of compromised accounts collected by Google. If a match is found, the plugin will warn you.

The developers from Mozilla launched the Firefox Monitor service. They offer users to register with their email. If your mail appears in the “Have I Been Pwned” database, you will receive a warning message.

And what about securing mobile devices?

As for mobile devices, they can also be vulnerable to hackers. There are weaknesses for any popular device or software – Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, or iOS. The main guarantor of safety here is the use of only official stores, for example, Google Play or AppStore.

During installation, it is necessary to control the permissions that the program asks for – why, for example, does the drinking water meter app needs access to your microphone?

You should not follow the links in emails that came from suspicious recipients. You shouldn’t click on links in SMS that say that your card is blocked. Using unsecured wireless networks is also unsafe.

The most vulnerable are devices running under Windows – this is the most widespread system and it is beneficial to write malware for it. Apple devices are more niche, in terms of the number of installations, they account for less than 10 percent of the total, and it is not commercially viable to create “malicious” for them. If we talk about the mobile platform – this is, of course, Android – for the same reason.

Do I need protection on Smart TV devices?

All of the above applies to smart TVs, which are also can be subject to a hacking attack. They run a Linux or Android OS, so the next-generation TV vulnerabilities are the same as those of mobile devices. In the case of TVs, it is worth carefully checking the USB devices on the computer before connecting.

Some subscriptions work through the “wap-click” technology. You just need to press the “Watch a movie” button through your TV-box and the money will be automatically debited from your account.

How to Know if Hackers are Stealing Your Private Data Online?

It seems that my account has been hacked. What should I do?

Look closely at what this leak is. Perhaps the hacker attacks happened a long time ago – and since then you have changed your password three times, so there is no need to worry.

Large companies usually do not store passwords themselves, but their hashes – encrypted versions that are quite difficult to decrypt. Therefore, the fact of a leak does not always mean that something is strongly threatening your data. But it’s important to remember that with due diligence, hackers can recover your password.

But in general, the main advice here is this: change the passwords of compromised accounts as soon as possible. If you have used the same password on other sites, change it there too. In the future, never do this: you cannot use the same password for different services. And enable two-factor authentication where it possible.

However, the most reliable measure to prevent hacking of your personal data is to use a virtual private network (VPN) as a personal Internet gateway.

A VPN redirects traffic by hiding your IP address and preventing hackers from tracking you. It also encrypts the data you send, so even if someone intercepts it, they won’t be able to read it. This also applies to your internet service provider. So, a VPN is a great way to keep your personal data safe on the Internet.


It should be noted that free VPN solutions on the market do not always provide reliable protection of personal data. Moreover, even the paid versions differ greatly in their functionality.

For example, the comprehensive difference between NordVPN and Surfshark is the connection limit. NordVPN allows up to six concurrent connections, slightly above the average of five connections. On the contrary, Surfshark allows unlimited connections, making it a very attractive option if you want to protect multiple devices at once.

Bonus video: How data brokers sold my identity (Private Data Online) | Madhumita Murgia | TEDxExeter

How to Know if Hackers are Stealing Your Private Data Online? FAQs

Does google sell your data?

No, it’s not. Only hackers and criminals can sell your data

How social media is invading our privacy?

You can be tricked by criminals, be careful about this.

Thank you for reading!