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The Best Methods to Detect and Fight Against Account Takeovers
More and more of our daily activities are happening online. This has grown even more after the covid 19 pandemic started, and we had to adapt to the new life of restrictions, lockdowns, and staying inside. To keep as much of the normalcy of our everyday life as we can, we turned to the internet. From studying, working, communicating, and relaxing, we found a way to keep going.
But our life online is not only sunshine and rainbows; there is also a real danger of becoming a victim of cyberattacks. As a result of the development of technology and our growing online presence, cybercrime is becoming an ever-present threat that can affect anyone.
While all of the types of cybercrime are horrible and can cause significant damage, account takeover is the one that has the most impact on your everyday life. This is why you must know how to detect account takeover frauds and what you can do to fight against them.
Impact of account takeover
Account takeover is a form of identity theft that happens when a cybercriminal gets access to your account, which they can then use for their malicious purposes:
- Apply for a loan;
- Apply for a new credit card;
- Apply for a new phone plan or even use your upgrade availability to get a new phone;
- Sell your identity;
- Use your details to access the other accounts;
- Use your account for card testing;
- Submit fraudulent tax report;
- Make purchases;
- Withdraw money.
This type of fraud can affect anyone, from individuals to businesses, and even governments are not immune. This type of fraudulent activity can have on the rest of your life is disastrous. For example, by applying for a loan or a new credit card, fraudsters can completely ruin your credit score, which can be hard to improve. This is why you need to be proactive and take the necessary steps before fraudsters can take over your account.
The biggest problem with account takeover fraud is that sometimes it can take a long time before you are even aware you have become a victim. This is why you should be mindful of any red flags that might indicate your account is in danger.
- Getting a suspicious login alert from any of your accounts;
- Getting an email asking you to confirm the change of your account details;
- Not being able to access your account;
- Any activity on your social media platforms you haven’t initiated;
- Noticing unauthorized transactions on your bank statement;
- Receiving bank account statements that are not connected to your account.
How to prevent account takeover fraud?
Account takeover fraud is continually evolving, with fraudsters constantly thinking of new ways to exploit your account. Still, fortunately, the ways to defend against it are also evolving to keep up. By being proactive and following security practices, you will mitigate the risk of account takeover fraud.
Improve your password hygiene
According to the research from LastPass, the average business employee uses 191 passwords, so they can resort to reusing the passwords or keeping them extra simple. This is why it is no surprise to discover that 81% of confirmed data breaches are because of passwords. By making sure you use complex and unique passwords for different accounts, you can reduce the risk of cybercriminals gaining access to them.
This can be a difference between your account falling victim to account takeover or staying safe. Cybercriminals might be able to access your credentials to access your account, but it will be a lot harder for them to go through the second level of verification, such as providing a one-time code sent to your phone.
Make sure all of your devices are up to date
Cybercriminals often exploit security vulnerabilities they can find in your devices, from your operating system, software to apps and programs. By keeping your devices up to date, you are increasing the chance of those security vulnerabilities being fixed and stopping cybercriminals from using them.
Use common sense
If something sounds suspicious, it most likely is. Never click on a link from an email that you are not expecting or share your details with just anyone who asks you. Using your common sense can stop many different cyberattacks, not just an account takeover.