Give a hacker a computer and an internet connection and they can do a lot of terrible things. They can deface websites, shut down networks, and even run $20,000 smart cars over a cliff. But most of all, hackers excel at stealing data.

You’ve seen it in the news. Large corporations like Yahoo, Equifax, and Uber have experienced massive data breaches, and those are just the tip of the iceberg. With new data breaches occurring almost daily, people start to wonder what hackers even do with all the stolen information.

Sell your data on the dark web

After a successful data breach, hackers will organize the stolen information into neat packages that can be sold to creeps on the dark web.

This guy could buy your daughter’s data...

How much the creeps are willing to pay depends on the data and how recent they are. According to a 2017 report, login credentials for bank accounts can fetch up to $1000. Full scans of documents like passports, drivers’ licenses, medical records, and credit card bills can go for $20 per record.

Blackmail you

Rather than just sell your personal data, hackers can instead use it for more coercive purposes. For example, if they stumble into compromising information about your business dealings or explicit photos you’d prefer to keep private, they’ll likely threaten to make them public unless you pay them.

When your company and your junk are on the line, you will be plenty tempted to pay the piper, but don’t expect hackers to follow through on their end of the bargain. In most cases, they’ll still sell your data on the dark web to double their profits. The best thing you can do in these types of situations is to immediately alert the authorities and hire a cybersecurity expert.

Max out your accounts

The chances of identity theft are incredibly high when hackers have your bank records. The result is usually a comical amount of pizza on your credit card bill, but they can do even more damage if they want to.

Hackers can hijack your credit card accounts, raise your purchase limits, and make far more expensive purchases.

“When did we buy a gold-plated Corvette?!”

They may also transfer huge amounts of money to untraceable offshore accounts, but in the most extreme cases, hackers can use your financial information to create counterfeit credit cards and sell them to the highest bidder on the black market.

This is why you should set up automatic bank notifications for every time a transaction is made under your name. If your account has been charged fraudulently, notify your bank and change your passwords as soon as possible.

Hack other people

Hackers never stop hustling. Once they’ve gained access to your email account, they’ll covertly work quickly, studying your profiles, schedules, and writing style to target your friends and co-workers with phishing emails.

But they won’t lead with the phishing email. They’ll start off with a couple of memes and funny videos to catch your friends off-guard. Then, when the time is right, they’ll send a malware-laden attachment that will steal more data or give them complete access to computers.

The only way you can protect your friends from falling for the scam is by warning them that your account has been hacked

Prevention requires a bit of work

Instead of worrying about what might happen if your data were to be stolen, you should focus on preventing that from occurring in the first place. This means conducting penetration tests to find your vulnerabilities, installing antivirus and encryption software, and training your staff about security best practices.

Red Key Solutions provides all these tools and services, so call us today to prevent hackers from breaching your data.

Red Key is a leading cybersecurity company serving New York City, Westchester County, Fairfield County Connecticut, California & beyond. Click here to learn more.