Account Takeovers: What They Are and How You Can Protect Yourself

Protecting login with Vesta Account Takeover

Account takeovers might not be the type of identity theft you typically think of. But they are on the rise and you need to protect yourself, here's how.

It's no secret that identity theft is more of a problem than ever due to the Internet. In fact, it's estimated that over 90% of adults have their data at risk in some form while browsing online.

Unfortunately, having your info compromised can lead to an account takeover that results in a large handful of consequences. But, there are ways to protect yourself.

Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let's take a look at everything you need to know about account takeovers and how to prevent them.

So, What Is ATO?

As the name suggests, an account takeover occurs when another party gains access to the login credentials for your email, social media account, etc. This typically occurs through the use of malware, such as a virus that records all of the victim's keystrokes on their computer.

If that's where this scenario ended, it wouldn't be too big of a deal. Unfortunately, most account takeovers occur with malicious intent.

For example, someone may find that their work email account has been compromised. The person at fault can then use their account to send messages posing as the owner of the account.

In general, this often involves sending fraudulent links to everyone in the owner's contact list. But, the consequences could be even worse.

In some situations, the hacker may post inflammatory content under your account name that could severely damage your reputation. Even after explaining the situation, the damage could prove difficult to recover from.

How Can I Protect Myself from Account Takeover?

Although dealing with an account takeover can be a grueling process, it's relatively easy to protect yourself in comparison.

Above all else, you should always ensure that your anti-virus software is updated to the latest version. This includes both your machines' operating systems and applications you use.

Two-factor authentication plays a large role here, as well. In order for someone on another device (even you) to log into your account, you'll need to input a code that's received through email.

So, if someone happens to compromise your Twitter login, for example, they'd also need to know your email password in order to fully access your Twitter account.

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Similarly, you should always use common sense when interacting with others over the Internet. It's far too common that someone blindly clicks a link sent by who they believe is a trustworthy source.

The typical consequence is that this link installs malicious software on their computer, which is something that can't always be prevented by anti-virus protection since the user manually clicked the link themselves. 

Protecting Against Account Takeovers Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn't have to be.

With the above information about account takeovers in mind, you'll be well on your way toward making the best decisions for you and your business. 

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

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