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US ranks third by number of wannabe Facebook hackers

When trying to find out how to hack something, Americans desire to breach into somebody else's Facebook account the most

September 9, 2020. -- The lockdown has inspired people to try new hobbies. For example, in spring, the infamous TikTok social media platform was oozing with dog training, cinnamon rolls, and dance challenges. But some internet users opted for more peculiar hobbies.

The number of Google searches related to the keyphrase “how to hack” went up in April 2020, so experts from NordVPN looked into what exactly people were trying to hack. The results have shown that half of Americans interested in hacking something wanted to break into somebody else's Facebook account, while one third desired to obtain access to a neighbor’s Wi-Fi .

Users from the US are half as interested in hacking somebody else's Facebook account as those from India (26%), accounting for 13% of the global search volumes. Together with the Philippines (19%), these two countries make the list of the Top 3 countries where users search for hacking fundamentals online.

Google search volumes of things Americans were looking to hack. Time frame: July 13 -August 13, 2020.

The researchers analyzed the monthly search terms and found an average of 171,490 Google searches worldwide on how to hack something. Of these, 46% involved hacking somebody’s Facebook account.

“There is more to that: Facebook is the most popular social login to access third-party sites. According to the Dark Web Price Index, that’s why Facebook accounts sell for $75. Once obtained by a cybercriminal, Facebook accounts can open the gates to Instagram, online stores that hold credit card data, and more,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.

What else do people want to break into?

When analyzing the volumes of “hack”-related keywords, NordVPN’s researchers found that Wi-Fi comes second on the most desired list. Wi-Fi has always been a target, but the interest increased once people got locked down and had to work or study from their home environment.

The Top 3 countries where people are looking to take advantage of their neighbor's network include India (23%), Indonesia (13%), and the United States (8%).

The rest of the Top 5 things Americans want to hack include Gmail (15%), email (5%), and Google account (1%).

How to protect your data

“People may think they are of no interest to hackers. But they are, and research proves it. Your neighbour may be a hacker trying to break into your Wi-Fi network. Your ex-partner may try to get control of your social media accounts. And, of course, a random black-hat hacker will grab any chance to sell your account on the dark web,” says Daniel Markuson.

Hackers are good at finding their ways, whether they search for tips on Google or on the dark web. But you can make it harder for them by following a simple routine of cyber hygiene:

  • Use unique and complex passwords for different accounts. Once hacked, your credentials can be checked against other services, such as email or online banking. To help you navigate through the sea of passwords, use a password manager like NordPass, which generates secure passwords and stores them in a protected vault. This applies to your Wi-Fi router too.

  • Use two-factor authentication. Just entering a password won’t be enough — hackers would also have to get access to your phone or email.

  • Avoid poorly protected public Wi-Fi. If you have to log in to your online account on a network you can’t fully trust, use a VPN like NordVPN to make your connection private. A VPN encrypts all communications passing between your device and the internet so no outsider can intercept it.

Methodology: NordVPN researchers used Google’s search term analysis tools to search terms that include the keyword “hack”. Apart from global trends, search volumes were also checked by country. The analysis was based on search volumes in 30 days.

Time frame: July 13 -August 13, 2020.


NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider, used by over 14 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide, and is P2P-friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is zero-log policy. For more information:

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