If you have ever had the experience of having your computer broken into or one of your online accounts hacked, you understand not only the inconvenience but the stress people feel.
There are several ways it can happen. The worst case is when someone installs a keystroke logger on your computer like this one either by physically getting onto your computer or tricking you online to install the program. Sometimes it happens because you get a virus or other malware on your computer as a result of opening an email attachment. Without anti-virus software running with constantly updated virus databases, you have little protection.
Sometimes it happens because you were dumb enough to use a common word as your password and someone uses a password cracker that looks up dictionary words and tries over and over as fast as it can. One such program is produced by ElComSoft in Moscow. Many of these programs were ostensibly designed for use by people who owned a computer and had forgotten their passwords. This has allowed the programs to be sold legally.
Sometimes it happens because people fail to do the security updates to their operating system or other programs they have installed on the Internet. This happened to me about two years ago when I had an old WordPress blog installed and had not been doing security updates. The hackers were able to get into my web hosting through the security whole in my blog.
The most recent concern is over public wifi systems that are free and unencrypted which are becoming common in airports, coffee shops, shopping malls and restaurants. People who use their email or other Internet accounts using this public wifi on their smartphone, table or laptop are being shocked to find their accounts have been hacked. Tools like the Android Wifi Spy are being used to do just this. Sold under the lame excuse of wanting to know if you neighbors are illegally using your home wifi system, the app is popular as way for a hacker sitting at Starbucks to get your email password and other private information.