The fact that people fall for phishing scams is arguably the biggest reason why such tactics are still actively used by cybercriminals. Bad actors send hundreds of thousands of emails every day, and they still consider it a win even if they steal the credentials of a single person. It does not take them that long to load up a possible phishing email campaign and then distribute it to the potential victims by merely hitting a single button, hoping for poor souls to fall in the trap. Sadly, finding at least one distracted person among hundreds of thousands of people is not hard at all, so hackers generally tend always to have something to work with even though they rely on a spray-and-pray method. And very often that one victim does not even realize that is being bamboozled by hackers probably located on the other side of the world.

Why do people fall for it in the first place?

People get distracted by all the digital noise they deal with every day. You may receive an email from someone pretending to be your bank’s representative, asking you to confirm your login details, so you don’t lose access to your online banking profile. You may be a teen who is offered a ‘blue verified badge’ on trending social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, TikTok. Or you may be approached by a generic-sounding email pretending to be from your mail server, asking you to reverify your email login information. Whatever the reason, most common types of phishing emails contain a sense of urgency that often makes even tech-nerds end up filling the scammy form that eventually reveals login information to cybercriminals.

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If you end up giving out your login information and you realize that you’ve just shared it with absolute strangers, this does not necessarily mean that it is the end of the world for you. However, it indeed suggests that you may want to be a bit more focused in the future, and you must change your password immediately as it has just been compromised. It also means that you will likely benefit a lot from having proper antivirus protection on your connected devices as high-end protection software solutions should have filtered such emails before they even make it to the inbox.

What happens if you continue going on with your life without taking any action?

You may think that cybercriminals cannot do a lot of damage with your stolen TikTok password, but you are likely wrong. They can use it to commit identity theft, they can use your social media profile to spread malicious messages or fake news, and they can even change your password, so you are blocked out of your own account.

You might have used the same credential on essential places such as your banking login or government websites. Hackers would get those stolen login details and try to utilize them as much as possible by using them to possibly reveal even more personal info they can use for malicious purposes. Imagine if hackers have access to your mobile device, and suddenly, it is possible for them to see personal information such as scanned documents, messages, images, videos, etc. That would be a disaster! Being prepared always pays off in the long term.