I’ve spent the better part of the last few days changing all of my passwords, the ones I was able to regain control of, because someone went into my accounts. Quite a number of them. This isn’t the first time. My accounts such as email, ebay(other auction and shopping sites), paypal, social media, my websites, affiliate programs, dating profiles, etc. have been hacked into many times. At first it was primarily ebay, paypal and email when I was selling items. Later ebay and paypal were hacked for the purpose of buying goods and charging it to my credit card on file with paypal. Luckily, paypal and ebay caught it very quickly. On one occasion almost all of my accounts were hacked. This time alot of them were. Sometimes only one or two accounts will be hacked into and other times many will suffer.
When it first happened paypal told me to make sure the passwords were different for each site. I followed that advice but the accounts have been tampered with anyway.
After this last attack, I remembered my ex housemate had a couple of my passwords. Primarily because when I lived there he would use my streaming/shopping accounts. He and his son had access even after I left because I knew how much they enjoyed streaming services. I’m not saying either one of them are responsible, anyone could be but I’ve no way to know if my ex housemate’s son accessed the accounts from his mother’s and/or gave them the passwords. For that matter, my ex housemate could have given my streaming passwords to his girlfriend so she wouldn’t have to pay for the services. My ex husband has passwords for accounts we share. Quite frankly, until this last episode I really didn’t think about it. Since most of my passwords are different I didn’t think it was an issue. Unfortunately, my passwords aren’t as strong as they should be and I have a rather unique way of keeping track of my passwords so I can remember them. One that might give a diligent hacker an easy way into the accounts. I tried writing them down a few years ago but that got me into trouble too when a man living with my dad and me found the notebook with my passwords and decided to help himself.
Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way of keeping someone out of accounts that want in them badly enough. I’ve even heard of software now that can run hundred’s maybe thousand’s of password combination a minute.
Since then I’ve changed all of my passwords. Something that angered my ex housemate. I understand they like to stream but I explained that I’m not paying for his son’s mother, step siblings, his girlfriend or anyone they choose to give the password to get free services. Then I remembered a time long ago when my ex housemate told me he had all of my passwords as well as my financial information. At the time I attributed it to beer talk since he’s had a few.
There is a link at the bottom of this article on how attackers hack into an account. There is one point they didn’t touch on and that is, some accounts that are hacked into are not by strangers in foreign countries but rather someone they know which makes it that much easier to know personal information. Another big no-no is using someone else’s computer. We all know when using a public computer to log out of every account that is accessed but sometimes the user runs out of time and in unable giving the next user access. The computer won’t give the password away but the person might be able to figure it out. If using someone’s personal computer the threat is much higher. Even if you instruct the computer not to save the password there could be keylogging software running in the background and you’ve no way of knowing it. Also allowing someone access to your computer/devices could allow them to snoop when you’re not looking. When I was at my ex housemate’s I often used his personal computer. There was not likely anything nefarious going on but if he were using keylogging software he could have easily captured every single password to every site I went to including my bank and other very personal sites. He could certainly look over my browsing history to see which sites I accessed. You’d be surprised at just how much information people give away on personal sites and knowing someone well can help make the links easier. I also allowed him to use my computer when his was down and gave him a tablet I didn’t like. My ex husband has used my devices on numerous occasions.
Nonetheless, I’ve changed all of my passwords and hope no one else figures out what they are.
Here’s a good article on Hacker Warfare. It doesn’t really fit your everyday hacker gaining access to email and social media accounts but it’s worth reading. 5 Facts Explain The Threat Of Cyber Warfare, Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter, Pinterest Accounts Hacked, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Account Compromised By Hackers these last two show you anyone can be hacked. How Attackers Actually Hack Into Accounts is a good article on how to protect yourself. Techlicious offers some great advice too.