None of us assume that we’ll be a victim of hacking, but exactly what could happen to our lives as we know it if we were next?
Anyone can become a victim of a hacker as long as they have an internet connection and a computer. Hackers can use a variety of tools to wreak havoc with your life, such as phishing scams, malware, spam, and fake websites to gain access to your personal information.
So, what exactly can hackers do with your personal information and exactly how worried should you be? keep reading to find out!
10 Terrifying Ways Hackers Can Ruin Your Life
1. Sell Your Information
Did you know that your personal information is worth a whole lot more than you originally thought?
While you’re probably wondering what data of yours could possibly be so valuable, your medical records, addresses, contact details, social security number, and other related information can prove exceedingly valuable to a hacker.
Why? They can use this for blackmail and extortion! On top of this, they can also sell your social security number in the name of identity theft for a lot of money.
Even your email address can be used for phishing scams and distributing dangerous malware!
It’s definitely a disturbing thought to think that your name is unknowingly being used to perform malicious activities such as fraud.
2. Ruin Your Credit
If hackers get ahold of your personal banking information you’ve got a massive problem on your hands!
They can use this to take out loans and credit that cannot be paid back, thus ruining your credit and destroying your financial life.
As you can imagine, this can have some extremely dire consequences on you and your family, and it is very difficult to rectify a ruined credit record, no matter how innocent you may be.
Your life would be pretty much, well, ruined.
3. Steal Usernames & Passwords
As you can well imagine, having your username and password stolen gives hackers access to some of your most sensitive information.
For example, they could then hack your bank accounts, social media, and more! This gives them access to your most personal and private information, meaning that they can easily extort you for money.
Many people hide their dirty secrets on instant messenger on social media, and this makes them privy to blackmail (especially if they were cheating, for example).
What would a hacker find in your social media inbox?
4. Destroy Your Reputation
Speaking of social media and privacy, if a hacker gains access to your passwords and social media, they can then access some of your most, uh, sensitive data.
If the thought of hackers accessing your nudes and other private photos terrifies you—it certainly should!
The hacker can then blackmail you for money and threaten to share the images with colleagues, family, and partners, and this can seriously ruin your reputation if anything ever gets out.
Another word for this is “sextortion” and it’s becoming more and more common. Don’t be a victim!
5. You Could Lose Your House
Let’s say that a hacker gains access to your social security number—this means that they can now do a variety of activities using your name.
Your social security number is required whenever you handle business or government documentation and this can include things like mortgages and tax filings—important stuff!
So, if a government or business has your SSN and happens to get hacked (which does happen, surprisingly) then your SNN is fair game for them.
This means that your SNN can be sold and traded on the dark web for several malicious activities.
For example, hackers can use your SSN to engage in dodgy deals and fail to pay. This leaves you in a very compromised position! You may find you can no longer mortgage a home or take a simple loan, or that you’re somehow blacklisted by debt collectors—completely unbeknownst to you!
In fact, you could even lose your home if the hacker really had it out for you.
6. You Could Land Up In Jail
As terrifying as this sounds, a hacker’s activities could land you up in the can! By simply gaining access to an old statement with your name and address, they can then open new accounts in your name.
If they’re smart, they can then have the bills for this account sent to another address. This means that you’re unknowingly being billed and failing to pay for the hacker’s activities.
As a result, you may find the police, FBI, or debt collectors knocking down your door with a warrant for your arrest!
Sadly, you would likely find yourself in jail until you could prove that these accounts were not, in fact, opened by you.
The worst part is—how would you explain yourself?
7. They Could Kidnap Your Children For Ransom
Sadly, this next malicious act is not uncommon. With kids using apps such as TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, their location and personal information are often widely available to those who want to find it.
Kidnappers will generally target wealthy families that they know can pay large ransoms in return for the safe return of their children, and this is almost always effective.
After all, what price can you put on your children?
The best cast scenario here would be getting your children back safe and sound. That said, the worst-case scenario is too grim to imagine.
8. Hold Your Identity Hostage
Speaking of hostage situations, there have been incidences where people have had their actual identity held hostage and sold back to them!
While this sounds like something out of a horror film, these things actually do happen.
Hackers have been known to steal your personal information including your contacts list, addresses, and emails in order to contact close friends, colleagues, and family.
They make threats and various various other accusations until the victim has no other choice but to pay the ransom in order to have their own identity sold back to them. Insanity!
9. You Could Lose Your Job & Become Unemployable
If a hacker gains access to your passwords and social media they can freely post raunchy and inappropriate content on your profile as they pretend to be you.
Sadly, potential employers or your actual boss cannot actually tell that this isn’t you, meaning that you could be rendered unemployable or lose your job.
10. End Your Marriage
Whether you have anything to hide or not, hackers can cause some serious damage to relationships if they have their hands on the right information!
If you’re cheating and a hacker gains access to evidence, they can easily use this against you either for money or simply to cause trouble in paradise.
Regardless, you should definitely be worried if a hacker knows about any infidelity. Chances are that it is certainly not going to end well!
As you can see, hackers really do have the ability to ruin your life in more ways than one!
That said, your best line of defense is to keep your passwords protected and never duplicate multiple passwords over several apps. Always use two-factor authentication and keep your devices updated at all times.
Oh, and never reveal your personal information to anyone without first verifying their authenticity!