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People are always conscious about their money; they want the best possible protection for their assets to make sure that these are safe from the eyes trying to gain access to these securities only to flush them empty.

The conventional banking system only enjoys a slightly deterred to almost acceptable kind of security metrics for all accounts that are under their surveillance.

If you want a little catching up with the latest environment that is set for the banking industry, then here is a quick recap for you.

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It has been almost 20 years or so since the banking industry has gone online; everything is on the internet right now; you can make quick payments with your debit or credit card or directly from your online banking account to almost anywhere in the world.

There are no possible restrictions of any kind; you are free to use your money as you see fit, but at the same time, it kind of puts out your information for everyone to meddle with.

As explained earlier, the banking environment is going to try its best to mask your online presence as well as any kind of online activity that you are engaging in from the comfort of your home, but sometimes it is not enough.

The security metrics in place are weak and not properly up-to-date, which allows cybercriminals and hackers to formulate an opportunity to undermine the network and to launch a possible attack from their end, which ends up in securing your login information which can, later on, be used to interact with your funds or to approach them however they see fit.

It is a highly improbable element, but still, the chances for it to happen are pretty immersive.

If you are using a smartphone or any connected device with the internet, then the chances are that you are only plausibly safe from those heinous people on the internet trying to take advantage of you in any way possible.

The crypto market, on the other hand, enjoys a much more lavish element of security, but mainly because of the fact that the whole thing is decentralized, there are no centralized commands to dictate each and every aspect of the market, and for that matter, the security element is bright here. But it doesn’t mean that it can’t be undermined or that it is out of reach.

To demonstrate just how secure you are on the internet whenever you try to make payments from one place to another, we will be talking about a famous type of hacking attack by the name of eavesdropping attack, and it has other names such as a snooping attack or a sniffing attack.

It mainly involves stealing information without the consent of the person to whom this information belongs over the network, either by a computer, smartphone, or any other electronic device.

The attackers are usually exploiting the unsecured network communications taking place by the user using the particular device to access the internet, and with the server from where the data is being accessed, the data is sent or saved directly by the user and server as it is not a peer to peer network and therefore the security metrics are pretty weak here.

It is as if you don’t have any chance to outsmart those people if you are not protecting or masking your identity over the network by eliminating your online trace.

These attacks, no matter how significant in nature, could be prevented with the help of a personal firewall, installing antivirus software systems on your browsing devices, and last but not least, with the help of virtual proxy networks.

These agents will make sure that your data that is traveling from your device to the internet and from there to the respective server is well protected and have security layers wrapping it almost all the time to prevent these eavesdroppers from listening literally into whatever information is being transmitted.

The best practice to avoid these kinds of attacks is to use a secure network configuration at all times and to prevent yourself from accessing the internet over a public Wi-Fi network because these are, in most cases, not the culprits.

The term eavesdropping might be unsuitable to the context of what it represents; the attack in itself is quite lethal because they are not only listening to or approaching your information but also using it for their own illicit gains; this is what makes this attack deadlier than ever.

Financial information, personal information of the user, along with various other attributes, are usually the elements these hackers are after because these things could be sold on the black market for a considerable price, so even if they don’t use this information for themselves such as tricking your bank into believing that it is actually you who are trying to access your account or withdrawing your financial assets.

They can just sell this thing on the internet without coming into contact with any of it; this is a pretty smart move on their end, but in no way does it look elegant for you.

Another pretty elementary term on the internet right now is by the name of ‘spouseware’; this is an approach where people actually eavesdrop on their loved ones and friends because these are the people who are in consistent communication, and they could always bump into an opportunity where their loved one is careless around them.

They could potentially use their innocence and trust in them to exploit their financial as well as personal data.

What are Eavesdropping Attacks?

Let’s assume a scenario to better understand the eavesdropping attack. Suppose that you are having a secret conversation with a loved one or a friend, thinking that you are in the confined space of your own room with walls around you and the door is perfectly locked so you know that no one can get to interfere with whatever security communication that you are engaging with.

Now suppose there are a few people who have their ears up against the wall or the door, and they are listening to your conversation or even using a device that amplifies your audio signal for them to interpret whatever you are saying on a better note.

This is exactly what happens during an eavesdropping attack; you think that you are on a private and secure network that is fully abiding by all the pertaining internet protocols out there in security standards, so you are perfectly safe, but there are people who are always anticipating your every move, and they had their eyes and ears glued to you and they are waiting patiently for you to make a bad move.

Whenever you do that, they can swoop in and just get whatever pieces of information become available for them over whatever network you had the conversation or interaction with.

This makes eavesdropping attack extremely difficult to detect because the network activity seems to be pretty normal and there happens to be nothing wrong with it; for an eavesdropping attack to become successful, the internet connection that the user is currently engaging with needs to be weakened only when the response time is greater between the said server and client.

Only then can these hackers and cyber criminals manipulate the timelines of the network to mask themselves from the eyes of the server as well as the client and do whatever they want to.

This is the textbook scenario for them to exploit; they are consistently examining the network traffic. They can also install network monitoring software on whatever network that you are using, or they might have already done that with a particular server that is known as sniffers, and they have only one task, and that is to intercept the data which is being communicated by the server and the user and then transmit them to the hacker or cybercriminal who has planted the sniffer in the first place.

This is a neat little trick, but it is extremely devastating for the people who are interacting with this said server.

The line of paths that you have developed from your system to that of the server needs to be completely clear of any distractions; there shouldn’t be any other transmitting device in between that line; otherwise, that device has the ability to weaken your communication with the said server.

It could turn the initial as well as the terminal device into a potential point of weakness that could be exploited by a cyber criminal or hacker.

Another thing that is quite difficult to intercept here is the type of data that is lost or gets stolen. You can’t pinpoint the exact data points which are on the verge of being stolen, it could be your personal information that got affected during an eavesdropping attack or your financial information, or it can be both.

There is just no way for you to know what specific data is going to get leaked, and therefore it should be on an alert at all times if you want to make sure that you don’t fall victim to this kind of attack.

How to Prevent Eavesdropping Attacks

As stated earlier, there are various ways to prevent an eavesdropping attack from becoming successful. First of all, you could use a personal firewall which will filter out each and every message or every ounce of data that you are sending out from your personal computer to a dedicated server.

Other than that, you could try out antivirus software systems, and keeping them updated is the key here because threats and their orientations continue to change, and so should your security detail; therefore, updating your antivirus system is the best thing you can do to prevent yourself from eavesdropping attacks and various other issues as well.

But if you truly want to secure your presence and your personal and financial data, then you can also go with choosing a virtual proxy network that relatively changes your IP address every few seconds, which kind of tricks whoever out there is listening to your communication into believing that you are from some other region than from where they are trying to intercept your communications and eventually they would give up.

Another possible approach that you can facilitate to protect yourself from eavesdropping attacks is to use a stronger password for all your financial accounts and change it more frequently.

Enabling two-factor authentication is the best way to make sure that it is actually you who are always trying to access your personal account because this way, the account over the service you are trying to communicate with can actually verify your identity, and it would definitely make sure that it was actually you who are trying to log on into your own account.

You must, at all costs, avoid public Wi-Fi networks such as the likes of those that are available in airports and coffee shops because these don’t have any kind of security metrics put into place to scrape your data from getting tagged on the internet.

These open networks are usually the easiest targets for eavesdropping attacks because hackers or cyber criminals don’t even have to sweat for the sake of getting their sniffers installed into these public networks.

And in most cases, they won’t even require a sniffer because most of these networks are open or have a very generic password using which the cybercriminal group logs on to the network, and from there on, they could monitor the network activity and tag the weak targets and later on will be stealing the personal or financial information of the target by luring them into a fake site or a webpage where they would be tempted by them to put in their login information.

Avoid Interacting with Virtual Assistants

As convenient as the whole assembly might be when it comes to using virtual assistants such as Alexa from Amazon or Google Home assistant for the sake of getting into various chores of your home, office, or any other personal space which you are controlling with the help of these, at the end of the day it is not so bright regarding the privacy aspects of your life.

These virtual assistants communicate with the parent server of the company; these represent consistently taking your voice notes directly to that server and executing whatever response they receive from the other side.

Sniffers could be installed extremely easily within the networks of these virtual assistants, and this gives cybercriminals and hackers a primitive approach to many aspects of your personal or financial information.

Speech recognition is an incredible tool that allows you to communicate with these virtual assistants in real-time, but there is a catch here. It doesn’t matter if you have installed your own voice within the virtual assistant, as the whole thing could be reverse-engineered.

Some hackers or cybercriminals could steal your personal data and mimic themselves as you while giving these virtual assistance commands of illicit nature.

The virtual assistant would assume that it is you who are asking for stuff such as weather information, digging up all your personal data from a certain point of time to a particular point, and they won’t restrict that behavior at all, thus putting your privacy at risk.

Avoid Suspicious Links

Spamming is another method employed by these eavesdroppers to find or cultivate information about their victims before they can launch a hacking attempt on them.

It involves sending various perpetual links and other such data to the user either via emails or links or other attributes embedded within that media. The best way to protect your vulnerability on the internet is to make sure that you avoid these suspicious links at all costs.

If you can’t verify the origin of the link that you have received from an unknown source, then the best possible practice is not to click or open that link because most likely than not, it is filled with bloatware, malware, or some kind of virus which would allow the hacker or cyber-criminal to get into your system and then undermining it bit by bit.

A classic way of making sure that your system can recognize such traps is to make sure that it is running the latest operating system there is because this way, you can be certain of one thing, and that is your security guard is up and is trying its best not to fall in into any kind of trap which would end up stealing your data or personal information.

Only download apps and software from trusted sources and run a deep scan using an antivirus system to make sure that the files themselves are free from any kind of virus or malware, which is another way of making sure that your system remains clean without you not becoming a victim to eavesdropping or other kinds of cyber attacks.

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Larry Wright

By Larry Wright

Larry Wright is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author. He is known for his insightful reporting and his ability to delve into complex issues with clarity and precision. His writing has been widely acclaimed for its depth and intelligence.