In recent years, cyber crime has ceased to be something that rarely happens, and in rare occasions when it does it happens only to big tech giants. Now it has become a regular occurance. Not only do we constantly hear about new high level cyber attacks, but we also constantly encounter cybercrime in our daily lives. Thanks to the good security filters of your email provider, you are not even aware of the amount of fraudulent emails you receive on a daily basis.You just need to open your spam folder and you will see numerous emails whose only purpose is to get access to your data and use it for financial gain.
From emails claiming to come from the government that urgently need your payment information to resolve some issue, to websites claiming that there is a problem with your account that requires you to re-enter your account details or even emails inviting you to click on a link that will install a malware on your device, cyber threats are coming from everywhere. Not doing anything is no longer an option. You might ask yourself “Why should I protect my account from fraudsters?”, but the real question you should ask yourself is “Why don’t I already do everything in my power to protect my account from fraudsters?” Just imagine what a cybercriminal can do if it gains access to your account?
With account takeover fraud ( ATO) cybercriminals get access to your account which they can use for their financial gain, but also to the rest of your online life.
What can fraudsters do with stolen accounts?
Account takeover has more impact than we could even imagine. From causing financial damage to impacting your reputation, account takeover has a wider reach than you would expect.
Fraudsters can use your account details to:
- Steal your identity
- Make purchases from your account
- Steal your payment information and access your bank account
- Order a new credit card from your credit card company, or a new phone from your provider
- Apply for a loan
- Launch a phishing attack or send spam from your account
- Use your account details to breach all of your other accounts.
- Sell stolen identities to the highest bidder
- Use your flight miles or loyalty points
- Use your account to test stolen credit cards
As you can see account takeover fraud can cause significant damage to different aspects of your life which is why it is extremely important to start taking necessary measures to protect your account. Anyone can become a victim of Account takeover fraud, as 130 celebrity Twitter accounts discovered in July, 2020. Celebrities like Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Joe Biden and Bill Gates were targeted in this cyber-attack and their accounts were used to tweet a Bitcoin scam to their followers. Before they were stopped, fraudsters menaged to receive hundreds of transfers that came up to more than $100,000.
How to protect your account from account takeover fraud?
Account takeover fraud can be hard to detect, which is why you want to prevent it instead of dealing with it once it happens. By taking control of your online security, you will be able to lower the risk of ATO fraud ever happening to you,
Be mindful of the risk: By knowing what you are fighting against, it will be easier to recognize red flags and protect your account. Never ignore any account alerts you might receive as they are the first line of defense.
Use unique and complex passwords: Bad password hygiene is the main reason so many accounts are breached. When you keep reusing your passwords, you are giving the fraudsters the key that unlock all of your accounts.
Use multi factor authentication: You should activate multi factor authentication anywhere you can as it gives you an additional layer of security that will be more difficult to breach than just when you use a username and password. If you have a business, you need to make sure you have multi factor authentication activated for all of your users, from customers to employees.
Use common sense: Surprisingly, a lot of different cyber attacks like phishing or social engineering attacks can be stopped just by using common sense. For example, you should never click on links in emails, especially if you don’t know the source of the email. Just go through your browser, and access the legitimate website.