Here’s How Cybercriminals Steal Your Online Identity

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In the tech-driven world of today, gaining access to someone’s private information is not that hard. The hundreds of cyber-attacks throughout the last couple of years stand witness to that. Cybercriminals are always on the prowl for more private and sensitive information to hack. It is much easier when you connect to a public WiFi network.

Do you know how hackers gain access to your private photos and videos while you are browsing a public WiFi network? The information below has the answers.

How do Cybercriminals Steal Personal Data?

Given below are 4 ways in which a hacker gains access to your personal data.

1. Man-In-The-Middle Attacks (MITM)

The Man-In-The-Middle attack happens when a 3rd party intercepts the communication between two devices. Thus, instead of the simple sharing of data between a server and client, the data is accessed by a third party. Hackers present their own version of the website you want to access. It is one of the most common types of cyberattacks as the information is unencrypted.

In the long run, a compromised WiFi network can easily consume a lot of personal information. For example, the hacker can access your email address, social media profiles, online banking credentials, and other private information.

But, no need to worry. You can take care of this issue by following a simple tip.

How to Protect Against MITM Attacks?

Public WiFi networks are generally not encrypted. So, the majority of websites like PayPal, eBay, and Amazon utilize their encryption techniques. Tech experts recommend that you check the URL to ensure it is an HTTPS address. The additional “S” means security. In other words, there is a level of encryption.

If you own a Netgear WiFi router and the Netgear EX6100 extender, then complete the netgear ex6100 setup to keep both devices safe against any unauthorized access.

2. Packet Sniffing

The name of the technique might sound a bit amusing, but what it does is not. Packet sniffing lets a hacker acquire airborne information and analyze it for their own benefit. Your smartphone or computer transmits a data packet through an unsecured network but it is read by a hacker by using software like Wireshark.

Packet sniffing is easy to execute. Many companies use this technique to ensure that safe practices take place within the workplace. But, a hacker does not follow any law or ethics. This technique helps a cybercriminal obtain an abundance of data to get access to sensitive information like passwords.

How Can I Stay Safe Against Packet Sniffing?

You have to rely on stronger encryption. Tech experts recommend that you invest in VPN software. It ensures you browse websites that have an SSL or TSL certification. To nip the problem in the bud, you should use a networking device that comes with the latest security protocols.

Unfortunately, this can happen even if you are on a home WiFi network. So, if you have a Netgear extender attached to the main WiFi network at home. You can increase its security capacity by accessing mywifiext local.

3. Shoulder Surfing

When you use the ATM, it is vital to check those near you. You have to ensure no one is looking when you enter the PIN to perform a transaction. Shoulder surfing is the same as far as browsing the internet goes.

When you use a public WiFi network to access private websites, you have to remain vigilant when entering the information. Never key in sensitive information like a password when someone is watching. It is all a hacker would need to gain access to your personal information.

How Can I Prevent Shoulder Surfing?

You have to make sure no one’s near you when you access a private website. When not sure then do not enter any private URL into the web browser on a public network. Even medical information is useful for identity thieves.

But, this can also happen when you share information through a home WiFi network. Thus, if you own a Netgear WiFi router and extender then you can change the default Netgear_ext SSID to the one you like.

4. Fake WiFi Connections

Fake WiFi connections are a variation of a MITM attack. This technique is utilized by hackers to intercept data when it is in the transitory phase. You might be sharing private information with someone who tricked your device into joining a fake WiFi network. All a cybercriminal needs to do is set up a fake Access Point.

Hackers can utilize any device with internet capabilities. Something as simple as a smartphone can be used to set up a fake AP with the name the same as the original network. Any data you send on this network gets transmitted to the hacker.

How to Protect Against Fake WiFi Connections?

To deflect a fake WiFi connection attack is always a lookout for two similarly-named WiFi networks. If you are at work and spot a suspicious WiFi name, alert the management.


Cyberattacks are on the rise around the world. Be it government or private computer systems, everyone is at the risk of having their data stolen at any moment. But, this does not mean there is no solution to the problem. Look at the Cyber Security Certification course to protect the data stolen. To remain safe when transmitting data on a private or public WiFi network, you should ensure proper security protocols are in place.

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