October 21, 2016 criminals steal information

How criminals steal information from a locked PC

Cyber criminals can still steal information even from a locked computer. Therefore, for you to remain safe, you need to take into consideration several safety measures. The best way of doing this is first of all learning how criminals can access that data that you store in a locked computer. Here are some of the most common ways that criminals use to steal data from a locked PC.

criminals steal information
Credit: Psyomjesus / Wikipedia

Downloading or responding to spam

By far, using spamming tactics is the most common way that hackers use to access the computers of their victims. In this age, hackers are now very adept at using spam emails to access people’s personal information.

A spam message usually has special links that lead victims to data-mining sites. When you open a spam message, it is an invitation to hackers to steal your login details. Sometimes, they make their emails look legitimate. This may make an unwary person open such emails. If you do, you may lose your login credentials.

The best way to protect you from this method that hackers use to steal information from locked computers is to avoid responding to spam messages. Interestingly, you can tell a spam message from a genuine one. You should trust your instincts at all times and avoid responding to spam messages. Replying to the messages may make you fall for the tricks of the spammers.

Downloading torrents

This is another great way to lose your identity to cyber-criminals. Torrent files may be full of viruses and malware. These may be used by hackers to punish unsuspecting users who want to download some useful torrent files for personal use.

There are several things that you can do to protect yourself against falling victim to criminals who use torrents. The first thing you need to do is to keep your safety when torrenting. For example, you should go for torrents that have a high number of seeding. Such popular torrents are safer than those which very few people download.

Also, you need to avoid torrents that look suspicious. Given that many individuals who use torrents usually share their experiences with other users, you can easily access information about torrents.

Accessing your accounts on public computers

If you have the habit of accessing your accounts via public computers, you are inviting a disaster. Hackers have a way of harvesting people’s passwords on public computers using keystroke loggers. Keystroke loggers are special types of software that hackers use to steal personal information from PCs. By using keyloggers, hackers can successfully access your login details.

You also need to remember that hackers find it easier to access public computers than private ones. They have their job cut out for them if you forget to log out after accessing your account. They will just continue from where you stop, access your open account and steal all your information.

Using your IP address

If hackers can get your IP address, they will have total control of your system. From they will manage to steal all your personal data and other useful information. This can happen regardless of whether you lock the system or not.  If password manager is one of the tools you use to keep a record of your login details, you have made yourself a sitting duck. Everything will be stolen by punching some keys from their location.

It is based on this that some cyber security experts recommend the use of VPNs. A VPN service conceals your real IP address and gives you a different one. This way, hackers cannot detect your online presence. Since you are anonymous when using a VPN, hackers cannot successfully attack your personal information. I personally recommend HideMyAss Pro VPN, because it is one the top 10 VPN providers in the industry.

Using a unique USB

There is a special USB device that can steal your login details regardless of the status of your system, whether locked or not. This device can copy your login credentials from any Operating System within a few seconds. To show the seriousness of the threat posed by this device, some cost about $50. This makes the rogue USB available to whoever wants to steal your information at any time.


In conclusion, you need to remain wary of these methods that hackers can use to steal information from a locked PC. Remember that hackers can successfully get data from your PC in different ways. Therefore, you need to take the necessary precautionary measures to keep yourself safe.

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