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Hackers have become a huge problem for the average person. These individuals have had years to hone their skills and know exactly which techniques work best in order to get a solid payday. While cyber criminals victimize all kinds of people, they do have some specific demographics that they see as easier targets.
To help you and your loved ones avoid the headache of dealing with a major data breach, we’ve put together some of the most common groups of people hackers like to target, as well as what you can do to avoid a cyber attack.
It’s no secret that many elderly people struggle to effectively use modern technology. This really isn’t their fault, as they went a majority of their lives without ever having to know how to get on the internet. However, this ignorance is being used by hackers as a way to scam older people.
As Bankrate contributor Ana Gonzalez Ribeiro pointed out, there are quite a lot of common scams that cyber criminals like to levy against the elderly. Most of these are social engineering attacks, where the hacker masquerades as someone he isn’t in order to get the victim to divulge personal information.
Therefore, it’s important that younger people urge their elderly loved ones to take caution both online and with unsolicited phone calls. Older individuals should understand that they should never give up personal information to someone on the internet or over the telephone, and that they should get someone more tech-savvy involved if they believe they’re being targeted in a scam.
There’s nothing more horrendous than a crime that targets children, but hackers very often see these young individuals as easy prey. Kids create online profiles without telling their parents, which often means they’re using weak login credentials that can easily be broken.
On top of that, very few hackers view victimizing children as the end goal. Rather, many cyber criminals would rather use the information they steal from a child to compromise the parents. A good example of this is the data breach that befell toymaker VTech Holdings.
As described by CNBC, this particular incident involved hackers compromising the information of 6.4 million children. The leaked information included the names, genders and birthdays of the kids in question. Although this is certainly frightening, it would appear this isn’t the data the hackers were looking for. This breach allowed the criminals to access sensitive information about the parents, such as their IP address, mailing address and security question answers.
While this particular hack seems to have originated via a vulnerability on the side of VTech, it is an important cautionary tale that should motivate parents to help their children protect themselves. Kids should know the basics behind creating a good password, and they should avoid talking to strangers online at all cost.
As an informed individual, it’s your duty to ensure your loved ones are doing what they can to avoid a breach. Simply sitting down with these people and having an honest discussion can go a long way.