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What are the biggest temptations for wannabe hackers?

The light from a computer screen illuminates the face of an unknown figure shrouded in darkness. His eyes scan lines of code, looking for a security hole in a website. Have you ever imagined that you could be that hacker? Many people do. Since the beginning of the pandemic, NordVPN researchers have noticed that searches like “how to hack” have increased. What are these wannabe hackers targeting?

What are the biggest temptations for wannabe hackers?

Secret intentions

Our researchers found 171,490 search queries on Google in 30 days looking for ways to hack something. Facebook made it to the top of the list with 46% of those searches.

Facebook is not only the most popular social network, it’s also a gateway to other applications. Millions of people don’t bother to create unique credentials for every service and use Facebook to authenticate themselves. If you hack somebody’s Facebook account, you would get much more than a glance at personal messages — you could unlock access to countless third-party applications.

Most of these wannabe hackers’ searches came from India (26%), the Philippines (19%), the US (13%), and France (9%). This is no surprise as these countries all have extensive Facebook user bases with India leading the list (290 million).hack Facebook

Don’t trust your neighbor

It’s always tempting to get something for free. 40% of search queries on Google related to the keyword “hack” were dedicated to hacking the Wi-Fi.

While using somebody’s Wi-Fi without their consent is a form of stealing, there are dozens of articles, videos, and tutorials explaining how to do it. Unless you practice password hygiene and take your cybersecurity seriously, you can never be sure whether somebody’s draining your internet data.

Majority of these searches on how to hack Wi-Fi came from India (23%), Indonesia (13%), the US (8%), and Mexico (8%).

hack Wi-Fi

How to tell if your Wi-Fi is hacked

Though thousands are eager to learn how to hack it, there are ways to detect strangers and kick them off your Wi-Fi.

  • Monitor your internet speed. If it takes longer to load pages than before or the videos on YouTube are lagging — there’s a chance that you have unwanted guests on your network.
  • Check the administrator logs. Log into your router and check all the devices that have connected or are connected to your Wi-Fi.
  • Use a dedicated app. There are plenty of apps that can monitor your network and notify you when something out of the ordinary happens.
  • Secure your router. A more persistent or professional hacker could change your router password, install unwanted programs on your device, and completely take control.

Protecting your personal data online

While Facebook and Wi-Fi are the most desired things to hack, people were also interested to access Gmail (10%), email (2%), and Google account (1%). Let’s learn how to protect your social media accounts, networks, and devices:

  1. Use strong passwords, regularly change them and never use the same password for all of your accounts. We recommend using a password manager like NordPass to securely organize your credentials.
  2. Don’t use Facebook to log into other apps. If somebody steals your password, all of your accounts will be exposed.
  3. Always update your apps and OS on time. Developers fix bugs and increase security with every new version of their product, thus lowering the chances for you to get hacked.
  4. Enable two-factor authentication. A password is not enough. When enabled, two-factor authentication adds an extra step, asking you to type a PIN or to authenticate yourself with biometrics.
  5. Don’t talk to strangers and never open any suspicious links they send you on Facebook. Otherwise, you might install malware and open the gate to your account.
  6. Use a VPN. It will encrypt your traffic from snoopers and will significantly increase your online security. NordVPN also has the brand new Threat Protection Pro feature, that helps you identify malware-ridden files, stops you from landing on malicious websites, and blocks trackers and intrusive ads on the spot.