How to keep your devices and passwords safe.

Probably one of the busiest tasks for HelpingHost.com Tech Support is to help customers recover from a hacked e-Mail account.

How did this happen?

is the first question we get.
In today’s post we would like to explain how it happens first and what you can do to prevent it in the future.

How did I get hacked?

There are several ways the attacker will get to you:

  1. you visit a website that infects your computer (or Phone or Tablet, yes, those get hacked just as easily) with a Virus/Worm/Trojan.
    The Malware then reads out the passwords it can find on your computer/phone/tablet and/or reads everything you are typing on your keyboard (KeyLogger).
    Once they read out that password they send it to a so called Master Server in the Internet. The hacker then uses that information to either hack into your bank account or simply send out spam using your email address and password.
  2. The Router/Modem (the box that connects you to the Internet) has been hacked. When that happens, the hacker now can just read out (sniff) EVERYTHING that happens between computers/phones/tablets in your house and the Internet. So, again the attacker will read out your passwords and use them whenever possible.
  3. You are traveling and use and use a wireless network which in itself has been infected or is not the network you think it is. (Yes, even big hotel chains or airports can run a wireless network that is infected and do not even know about it)
Man in the middle attack

How to be safe in the future?

So, first, to be as secure as possible, make sure that the computer/phone/tablet you are using are SAFE. (unsure? run the free versions of Malwarebytes and/or Thor to make sure)
At the very least run a quality AntiVirus on each device.

Windows: https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/
MacOS: https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-macos/
Android: https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/

(in Addition to the Antivirus we here at HelpingHost.com also run the paid version of this tool on all our machines: https://www.malwarebytes.com/products/ )

Next, make sure to ALWAYS access websites where you have to enter information via https:// (notice the s)
A little lock should appear in front of the URL (screenshot from Google Chrome here):

Ensure a little lock shows in Chrome for example.

Last, ensure that you are using a QUALITY password and NEVER use the same password twice. ( I know, I know, this sounds overwhelming, see the next part on how to remember and manage all these passwords)
You can see if your password is already being used by hackers here:
https://haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords
We would strongly suggest to use 1Password on any computer and phone/tablet to keep your passwords safe and help remember all the different passwords:

To sum it up:

  • Keep your devices safe
  • Use Anti Malware software
  • Practice “safe passwords” 🙂

We here at HelpingHost.com hope this was valuable and reduces our workload regarding hacked accounts a lot. If you have any questions regarding this or would like more details please contact our support team as always.