How Can I Protect Myself From Online Extortion By Hackers?

Most of the time when you are being attacked by a hacker they like to stay in the background; they want as little interaction with you as possible.

They want to be able to take the data that they came for and for you to never hear from them again.

Unfortunately that is not always the case.

There are several reports where hackers, or just plain cyber thieves, have taken their attacks to the next level and threatened their victims even after the attacks were over.

The hackers received some sort of cheap thrill that came along with feeling as if they were in control of this person’s life.

There have been many ways that this type of attack has happened.

I will show you a few and then tell you how you can avoid them.

Cases Of Online Extortion

The cases of online extortion there have been seen so far have been varied.

Most of the time when you see a case of online extortion the attacker has the victim’s computer in their control and they tell them that they have to send a certain amount of money for the software to be taken off of the computer.

There was an online crew of hackers that made millions of dollars a year with an attack like this.

Most of the time, however, the people didn’t have to pay because they took it to an expert to get the malware off.

When a person did decide to pay they would never hear back from the attackers and they would have to take their computer in to be repaired anyway.

There have also been recent cases of what you would call Sextortion.

watch out for sexploitation scams

This is when a black hat hacker threatens a person by telling them they have revealing photos of the victim and that unless they give in to their demands they would send the pictures to the victim’s family.

Sometimes the hacker would want money; other times the hacker would want the person to send them more explicit dirty pictures of themselves.

This is a relatively new phenomenon but one that has happened a few times already.

What To Do If You Are In This Situation

If you find out that someone is trying to extort you then there are several options that you can choose.

You can either choose to give in to their demands and hope that they will take it easy on you or you can do the right thing and contact the authorities.

Most of the time this is the right decision.

The attackers are not just going to give you back control that easily once they see that they have it they will continue to try and extort you until you get tired of it and call the authorities anyway.

It is best to just cut out the dance of going back and forth with the attacker and just contact the authorities right away.

Online extortion can be pretty serious and can lead to a lot of problems in your offline life.

If you want to avoid this happening to you there are several steps that you can take.

Make sure that your computer is protected by the latest antivirus and firewall protection.

Also be careful who you talk to online.

It is not always safe.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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  1. […] it does not have to be someone who you are communicating who can take advantage and try to extort you. There have been many cases where black hat hackers have either found embarrassing data online […]

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