An increasing number of people and businesses are worried about account takeover (ATO) attempts. These kinds of assaults typically include breaking into a user’s account by deceptive means, such as phishing or the use of stolen credentials. Once a hacker gains access to a user account, they can do severe damage by initiating fraudulent transactions, transferring money, or stealing personal data. Using account takeover protection software is the simplest way available right now to keep your account safe from hackers.
How Are Account Takeover Attacks Recognizable?
An account takeover (ATO) assault might present itself in a variety of ways. Indicators that are quite typical include:
- Unexpected email password resets: You may have been the victim of account takeover if you receive an email claiming that your password has been reset but you did not request the change.
- Instances of unusual login attempts: If you notice a large number of failed login attempts from a variety of IP addresses, it could be a sign that someone is attempting to hack into your account.
- Suspicious account usage: FBI’s IC3 received 467,361 cybercrime complaints in 2020, with a total loss of $4.2 billion. Many of the reports involved ATO violations. ATO attacks can be identified by the presence of unusual or unapproved account activity, such as transactions you didn’t make or changes to your personal information.
- Unwanted emails or texts: An ATO attacker may send you communication via email or text, posing as a trusted organization and seeking personal information or a link to a malicious website.
- Unusual Device: It’s possible that someone is attempting to hack your account if you see login attempts from strange computers or IP addresses.
Account Takeovers: How Can They Be Avoided?
- Use strong, one-of-a-kind passwords
When you use strong, different passwords for each of your accounts, you reduce the risk of credential-stuffing attacks. There should be a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols in a password, and it should be at least 8 characters long for maximum security.
No one should use a simple password like “password123” since it’s too easy to crack. If an attacker has access to one password, they can try it on other accounts if they are the same.
- Keep an eye out for suspicious emails or texts
Account takeover via phishing is a typical tactic employed by cybercriminals. An attacker’s phishing email or text message can look like it came from a trusted institution like a bank or online store.
The message could contain a link or a request for the recipient’s login information. Avoid falling victim to phishing by being wary of any unsolicited emails or texts that request personal information. Do not open attachments or click on links from unknown sources.
- Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA)
With multi-factor authentication (MFA), users are prompted for a second piece of information in addition to their password before they can access their account. This might be anything from a fingerprint or facial scan to a code given to a phone. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is useful for preventing unauthorized access to your online accounts.
A hacker who gains access to a user’s password would still be unable to get access to the account without also gaining access to the user’s phone or other device used to receive the MFA code. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) can be enabled in a user’s account settings or using a dedicated app.
- Update your applications and operating system
Hackers may frequently attempt to obtain access to your accounts by taking advantage of security flaws in out-of-date software or operating systems. Protect yourself against these threats by always using the most recent versions of your software and operating system. Everything that connects to the internet falls under this category, not simply your computer.
- Keep a close eye on your finances
If you check your accounts on a frequent basis, you will be able to recognize any strange behavior and respond swiftly if necessary. You can prevent identity theft and other forms of account compromise by keeping a close eye on your financial records and reporting any unusual behavior immediately.
- Don’t blindly connect to free Wi-Fi spots
Using public Wi-Fi can put your personal information at risk because you can’t verify who else is connected to the network. There is a risk of having your data intercepted, your credentials stolen, or malware installed on your device if you use public Wi-Fi. A virtual private network (VPN) or your mobile data connection is your safest option while accessing the internet from a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Use a secure password manager
A password manager is a useful tool for creating and managing complex passwords for all of your online accounts in one convenient location. Using a password manager, you can generate and organize strong passwords that you won’t have to try to remember.
These measures will help you prevent unauthorized access to your accounts. Keep in mind that no system is 100% secure, therefore it’s crucial to always be on the lookout for potential threats and be up-to-date on the latest attack methodologies.