5 Tricky Ways You Can Get Hacked Without Knowing It

Thought you were safe from hackers? Think again!Here are five crazy ways that you may end up getting hacked. Chances are, you haven’t even thought about them, let alone how you can keep yourself safe from these hacking methods.


Photo: GlebStock / Shutterstock

The Snoopy Drone

This must be the craziest way possible to get hacked. Just imagine for a minute.

You go to the same restaurant once a week for business dinners. They have a public Wi-Fi network. Being the heavy smartphone user that you are, you obviously take advantage of this feature. You’re not aware of it, but a drone is flying nearby you and analyzing the networks which your phone has connected to in the past.

This drone is loaded with software that can take the information and spoof the public network that you regularly connect with. Your phone is set to auto-connect to the Wi-Fi network. Your next visit to the restaurant leaves you a victim of a spoofed wireless network.

The attacker now has all the data from your smartphone. This includes passwords for your online banking, PayPal account, various business accounts, and much more. You can only hope that your corporate network, if you have one, has not been compromised.

The Picture Hack

You find a picture that you want to download. Of course, you go through the process of downloading it as you are not concerned about getting hacked. After all, it’s just a picture and not some crazy executable program.

Most picture hack instances occur when the URL is manipulated. For instance, it may end in .jpg.exe instead of the traditional .jpg format. It is also possible to trigger an executable file to run by clicking on an image.

So there are ways for you to potentially be tricked by the file that you believe is an innocent image. This is something that you may be aware of, but you may not always be suspecting that it is about to happen to you.

The only thing you can do about this is be careful with what images you click on and download from websites that you do not completely trust. You can go the extra step by looking at the URL of the image and even checking the source if you are really concerned but still need to click on or download the image for any reason.

The Heartbleed Bug

Here’s a tricky one. Heartbleed is a bug that affects almost every website that uses any version of OpenSSL encryption since 2012. This is guesstimated at being around 65 to 70 percent of all websites on the Internet.

Basically, if you are registered and active on any of the affected websites, you could get hacked. Your sensitive data (user name, password, credit card details, etc.) could be made viewable in plain text form. In fact, Yahoo is vulnerable to Heartbleed.

It is very important that you change all your passwords if you may have registered to any affected websites. Many are urging everyone to change their passwords. Most website providers will update their users to let them know if they have been affected, but it’s no guarantee.

Bet you wouldn’t have known that one – a safe, encrypted website caused you to get hacked for the fact that it was encrypted!


Okay, everyone knows about the phishing hack and many are well aware of what it will look like. It is still possible to disguise a phishing website substantially and it may go undetected, but for the most part phishing is a thing of the past.

However, spear-phishing still lives on due to the fact that quite a few easily fall victim to it.

This is a technique that focuses around choosing specific individuals to target. So the attacker will look at those that are highly likely to fall for a phishing attack or they will tailor their phishing approach towards the individual.

For example, they may be a user at a freelancing website that allows users to chat back and forth about a job. The employer may present the contractor with a link to their website. This website has a sign-in with Google option, which is actually a phishing page. The freelancer is unlikely to think anything of it as they already sent messages back and forth with the person, the individual posted a job ad, etc., so it just makes it easier for the individual to become a victim.

Any data breach

The most horrible thing about protecting yourself is that you can only do so much. You cannot protect what others do with your data. There’s also only so many precautionary methods you can really use.

So you end up shopping at Target. Voila, your identity is stolen.

So you’re an American citizen. Voila, your identity is stolen.

See the repeating theme?

Unless you live as a complete ghost, there are ways that your personal and sensitive data can be illegally obtained.

It really is out of your control. Every single company you deal with receives your data and you can only hope that it is destroyed and inaccessible from that point on. Man in the middle attacks can still take place and you could end up helpless – just look at the whole Heartbleed bug catastrophe!