What if you get hacked and how can you prevent it? I got this question in response to the new Your Data and You theme from NEMO Kennislink. While the scientific literature on hackers and their practices continues to grow, I also learned a lot about it through case studies. So I recommend two of my favorite cybercrime podcasts in this blog where science and practice are all about cybercriminals. I zoom in on specific episodes and the best anti-piracy tips discussed there. Not a podcast listener? Don’t worry, the tips are easy to read too!
Podcast Reply to all
Reply All from Gimlet Media discusses stories about people and the internet. It looks very wide and it is. Sometimes it’s cybercrime, like an episode 91 The Russian Passenger. Alex recounts in this episode how he suddenly receives notifications from his Uberapp about taxi rides in Russia that he has to pay for while he himself is in America. When he contacts Uber about it, they seem to have no information about him. Alex wonders if he was hacked and how it could have happened.
The hosts then speak with several experts to investigate what happened to Alex’s account. They learn that the so-called ID stuffing one important way is to hack accounts. Criminals use long lists of previously leaked data and see if that data works with accounts on other websites as well.
Tip # 1: This one is not new, but still: use different passwords for different online services. How do you remember all these passwords? Not. You use a password manager for this. I have already written about it in this blog.
Don’t just give away all your data
In the episode, they also explain that the more personal information you leave in different places online, the more likely your data is to be misused. This increases the likelihood that your data will later be found in a data breach. Sometimes I also want to take a look at something. Or do something online that requires registration, which I probably won’t go back to. In this case, if I can, I enter as little actual data as possible. For example, do they need an email address? Then I use a ‘temporary email address’.
Tip # 2: Use a temporary email address whenever possible. These are web addresses where you will receive emails. When you close the webpage with the inbox, you will lose the email address again. Do not use such services for serious business! To find a temporary email address, for example, type ‘temp mail’ into your search engine or choose one of the these recommendations.
It is not always necessary to disclose information about yourself.
Later in the episode, it turns out that Alex was also hacked in another way, and the second hack involves his hacked Uber account. You will hear exactly what happened next 93 Attention everyone. This episode also explains a few other tech hacks. Not super complicated, but very interesting 🙂
In Michael Joyce’s Cybercrimeology, researchers (mainly social scientists) talk about their research on cybercrime. In Good habits: teaching digital hygiene and cyber defense Dr Ruth Shillair shares how we learn and are motivated to protect ourselves. She explains that with “fear messages,” such as “Beware of hackers!” We consider several things. In this way, we estimate the risk of a hack and the possible consequences. We also consider what is needed to protect yourself, for example in terms of time and money, but also skills.
Specifically, how well do you think you can protect yourself (self-efficacy) is important. If you think you can’t do it, you probably won’t. This is not only a rational consideration, but also an emotional one. If you keep hearing that cybersecurity is super complicated and hackers use cutting edge techniques, you probably quickly feel powerless. There is a good chance that you will give up completely to protect yourself.
Cyber security is sometimes very complicated. At the same time, Shillair argues that you don’t have to understand everything about computers (neither do I). Realize that a few simple things can go a long way for digital self-protection – or digital hygiene. Most of us are not virologists either, but we do know that washing our hands with soap is important against pathogens.
Tip # 3: Realize that with a few basic steps you can keep cybercriminals at bay very well. Such as the well known “Keep your software up to date” and “Don’t click on links in weird emails”.
Tip # 4: As Shillair says, your password should be kept secret, not the means to protect yourself. So: talk about it together!
Do you remember a good cybercrime podcast or a specific podcast episode that you learned something new from? Share it below so others can learn from it too!
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