We live in a world where our digital information and online accounts have become increasingly vulnerable to cyber criminals. With news of data breaches happening daily, it can be daunting to know how to best protect your personal information, especially with the majority of us using Gmail for both work and recreational purposes. That’s why we’re taking this opportunity to outline 6 ways your Gmail account might be hacked without you even realizing it, so that you can stay up-to-date on the latest cyber threats and know exactly how to keep your account secure.
Through an App
The first way on this list that a Gmail account can get hacked would be through the use of an application. This method is one of the least likely since it would require the person to have access to your device, specifically your phone. However, this way to hack a Gmail account is the least detectable method on this list if it is successful.
How it would work, would be; someone would need to install an application such as xMobi on your device. This app lets the person see screenshots of your email content, all of your outgoing and incoming emails, the recipient information, and more. More importantly, the application would run in the background, so you wouldn’t even know.
The next method on this list that someone could use to hack your Gmail account, would be the use of keylogging software. In case you are not familiar with what this is, keylogging software tracks and stores all of the keystrokes that you make on your device and sends them to the person who is connected to the software.
Of course, this method requires you to have installed the software, which you might have done accidentally or without knowing. Even if you don’t type your username for your Gmail account, all the person would need is your email address, which can be easy to acquire.
Not all hacks are performed using software; sometimes cybercriminals will use more traditional methods, such as attempting to guess your password. If you are like most people, you have more than likely used a simple password for your email account, especially since you haven’t considered that someone might hack it.
If that is the case, it would be a good idea to change your password regularly or choose a more complicated password. A good example of a strong password would be something like “m#[email protected]$V,” since it is completely random. Avoid using commonplace phrases as a password, since these can be guessed quite quickly.
Automated Password Software
Another trendy method that cybercriminals use to hack Gmail accounts is to use a more modern version of guessing passwords, and that is automated password-guessing software. There are a few different approaches that this type of software uses. For example:
- Brute-force attack: This is when the software generates thousands upon thousands of attempts until it guesses the correct phrase or combination of words and letters.
- Dictionary attack: This is similar to the brute force attack, except the hacker would input specific parameters for the software to make guesses around, such as your name, your birth date, the names of your children or pets, and more.
The best way to protect yourself against these types of attacks would be to use complicated passwords, such as “m#[email protected]$V,” the one mentioned above. This is because these passwords don’t contain phrases or words that can be easily guessed.
One of the most common methods that hackers use to hack Gmail accounts would be through phishing. Phishing is basically when a hacker pretends to be someone or a business and sends you an email with a link that takes you to a fake site that was designed to store any information entered.
Most of the time, these emails would come from somewhere official-looking, such as your bank, a bank, or a job search site. They might even pose as apps you use and ask you to reset your password by having you enter your current password. They might even try to pose as a random colleague or friend and send a normal-looking email.