Behind closed doors – how do hackers use your personal information?

You may have been the victim of a data breach or online hack. Or you may have just heard about the bad things a risky situation such as identity theft can cause to someone. But do you know exactly what a hacker can do with your personal and financial information?

Hackers operate in different ways, but the end result is mainly the same: they would steal your information and use it in their benefit. Surprisingly enough, they are not always interested in making money; some are just so ambitious that they just want to prove a point, such as how vulnerable the online system of a big company is.

Regardless of the reasons that lie behind their actions, it’s time that you find out the possible risks you’re exposed to when a mass data breach (such as the most recent and much talked about Equifax case) occurs.

First, here is the big picture: online fraud cases similar to Equifax are the most dangerous because they would reveal the most important of your private information: social security number along with financial information (credit and debit card details, amount of your salary, etc.), plus personal information like birth date and home address. These are like wholesale candy for hackers and this information combined would make it all easier to commit frauds.

Here is what a hacker can do with your personal details such as social security number, e-mail address and/or phone number:

  1. Apply for a loan or credit card

With your social security number, a hacker can open a bank account or apply for a loan in your name. As you may guess, the moment the loan needs to be repaid, the hacker will simply consider it’s not his/her duty to do that, so you’ll start receiving calls from the bank, since your name and personal details are linked to the loan or bank account.

       2. Rent a home under your name

Because renting a home is usually easier than buying a home in terms of paperwork, many hackers will choose this alternative. The hacker will simply enjoy living in a new place for a while and not pay rent, maybe even damage the property. When they consider fit, will simply take off and you’ll be held responsible for everything.

        3. Receive medical treatment

A hacker who grabbed your social security number can receive medical treatment under your name. In some cases, you may discover you have to pay for a treatment you never had; in other cases, you will simply have to face a troublesome situation regarding an un-matching medical history.

        4. Steal your benefits

Recent estimates say that just in the United States, hackers steal around 5 billion USD in false tax refunds in a year. One way to avoid this situation is by filing your tax returns as early as possible. Then, if a fraud tries to file the tax in your name, the person will be rejected, and you can figure out a way to solve the lawless situation.

A similar case is when a hacker uses your social security number to claim unemployment benefits.

Find out what exactly happens with your #personaldata after #hackers stole it from you Click to Tweet

       5. Open utility accounts

This may sound like a stupid crime, but hackers often use fake gas, electricity or cellphone accounts just so they won’t be tracked. To make sure you only pay for what you use, whenever a utility company send you the bill, always check your payment and re-payment status.

Secure your private data with CyberGhost

Although no one can protect you from a mass data breach of a financial institution (if you happen to be their client), what you can do to safeguard all your information during all your online activities is to use CyberGhost VPN.

With its incredible technology and using military grade encryption, CyberGhost is your true friend when you need to block online snoopers from tearing out whatever they find interesting about your profile and information.

Download CyberGhost VPN and take advantage of the benefits of anonymous browsing.

About the author

Dana Vioreanu
Dana Vioreanu

Even though her degree is in Sociology, which technically has nothing to do with writing, all her previous jobs implied working for websites, taking care of content and writing articles.
By the way, if you’re interested in studying abroad, feel free to ask her a few pointers, because for about two years and a half, she learned almost everything there is to know about international studies.

6 Comments

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    • Hello there,
      First, we would like to mention that CyberGhost is 100% dedicated to the no logs policy, but it may not be clear for everyone what exactly it means.
      The IP translation does not refer to storing hardware information. In technical terms, the process works as follows: CyberGhost creates a hash based on hardware information; however, the hash does not reveal hardware information details. This is simply used to prevent a possible abuse of the 7-day-trial plan. For every hash, the 7-day trial plan is activated.
      Hope this has made things clearer for you. Thank you for your feedback. Cheers!

      • How about third party vpn clients with *ovpn config files(Openvpn,Viscosity)? Do they too create such hash based on hardware information?
        And what are you store in this case?

        • Hey Rob!
          If you are referring to the trial period, this does not work for third party VPN clients at the moment.
          What we can say about our VPN services is that we do not store hardware information. We do create a hash but it is not translated back into hardware information details.
          Hope this answers your question. Thank you for reaching out to us! Have a great day!

  • Sorry for the misunderstanding, I didn’t ask you about any trial period, but rather about a full paid subscription. Do you store anything about users who use third-party clients, such as their source IPs or from which country do they connect to your servers? And if you store, for how long?

    • Hello again Rob!
      These are rather technical details for which I adivse you to check out our FAQ page
      where you can find out more about what we store and for how long. If you can’t find the exact answer you are looking for on this page, please contact our colleagues from Support or create a ticket here.
      Thank you and sorry for the misunderstanding. Cheers!

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