Home > Identity Theft > Even Hackers Worry About Getting Hacked

Comments 0 Comments

Hackers have some of the best security knowledge out there, but that doesn’t mean they’re attack-proof: 88% of self-identified hackers surveyed at a recent security conference said they think their personally identifiable information is at risk of being compromised online.

At the same time, the vast majority of those surveyed said they believe they’ll never face repercussions for hacking. Thycotic, an IT solutions company, polled 127 hackers at Black Hat USA 2014, a large security conference that took place Aug. 6 and 7 in Las Vegas, and 86% were confident they’d never see punishment for their activities.

If such a large share of hackers are concerned about the vulnerability of their personal information, the average consumer should be on high alert. Data breaches are extremely common and difficult to prevent, which is why you should actively monitor your online accounts, financial and otherwise, for misuse. It’s simple: The sooner you catch a thief, the less damage they can do.

Though the sample size is small, Thycotic’s survey provides some interesting insight on the hacker’s mindset:

  • 51% said they’re motivated to hack because it’s fun or they enjoy thrill-seeking
  • 18% said they’re motivated by financial gain
  • 29% said their actions are driven by social consciousness or a moral compass
  • 99% said simple tactics, like phishing, are still effective
  • 53% said they believe people are not learning how to avoid such simple attacks

Those last two statistics are really significant. Internet users may balk at the idea they would fall victim to phishing — when an attacker impersonates a company or someone you trust and asks you to share your personal information — but nearly every hacker said such simple attacks are worthwhile. That response should make you seriously consider what you’re doing before interacting with someone who calls you or sends you a message, claiming to be a trusted source.

As far as learning to avoid phishing and similar scams, it’s easier said than done: Think twice. If you’re not sure about the legitimacy of someone contacting you, find their contact information independently and offer to reach out to them once you’ve confirmed you’re dealing with the right person — it’s easy to do this by searching the Internet for a customer service phone number or email address.

All it takes is developing some simple habits to increase your preparedness for dealing with cyberattacks. It’s easy to check your bank account activity with online and mobile access to your accounts, and doing this daily will let you spot anything suspicious nearly as soon as it happens. You can also set up transactional monitoring and alerts when your credit or debit card is used to spend a certain amount of money. Depending on your bank, you may even have the ability to turn your cards off when they’re not in use (this technology is becoming more common).

Beyond credit and debit card fraud, you need to watch out for more serious theft, like someone using your Social Security number. With personally identifying information, an identity thief can open fraudulent accounts in your name without you knowing, but regularly checking your credit scores and credit reports will help you spot such fraud. You can see two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com every month, and if you notice an unexpected drop in your scores, that could be a sign of potential fraud. You can get your free annual credit reports and check them for unauthorized accounts or errors, which you should immediately dispute.

More on Credit Reports and Credit Scores:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team