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How do Internet hackers collect information about their victims before targeting them?



You may have ever asked how an email came to you from an unknown destination that contains a lot of information about you, such as: name, surname, address, and possibly a personal photo, with an attached link that you must click to complete an action.

The answer is simply that the one who sent you this message - often a (phishing email) - has searched for you well on the Internet in order to gain access to this personal information, so how do these hackers access such information, and what tools do they use?

How do cybercriminals collect information about their victims before targeting them?


Social media accounts of victims are often used as a source of information, which naturally leads to the question: How do hackers find these accounts? To a large extent, it depends on how public the information is available on these social networks.

If the user publishes his personal data in detail in his account with some other details, such as: a detailed CV, and a link to a LinkedIn profile, this will facilitate the collection of information very much, but if the only thing that the hackers have is the email address then the task will become more complicated, Which requires them to research in several other ways, such as:

Photo search:


Finding someone using an image is not the most common scenario for hackers, especially in public image search engines, such as: Google Image Search, but with the use of some professional tools it may be a popular choice for them, as a tool such as: FindFace, you can provide many images High-quality, and quickly match it with social media accounts.
First and last name:

When searching for someone on the Internet, usually the first step is to search for his first and last name, but we find that the success of the search depends largely on the spread of the name, so searching for someone with a name like: (John Smith) may come in millions of results, but a name Little use, such as: (Lurie) Google may find it very quickly.

Email and phone number:


If hackers have an email address or phone number, they can use a service that automatically collects data, such as: Pipl Service, which has information on more than 3 billion people.

Where not only can she find links to user pages on social media, but she can even provide a brief CV containing more detailed information, such as: place of birth, study, and work.

What should you do to keep your data private online?


As you can see, collecting data on potential victims does not require any sophisticated technical treatments, and to keep your data and information away from hackers, follow these tips:

  • Maintain the privacy of the email and phone number in your social media accounts, by using the options available to hide it from the public.
  • Do not use the same image for personal and work accounts.
  • Use different email addresses, such as: a social media registration address, a private address for official transactions, a private address for mailing and so on.
  • Do not post unnecessary information about you on social media.
  • Use powerful security tools, such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business, to filter fraudulent messages in your email.
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