Hacking and Viruses

Hacking is the unauthorised access or modification of the contents of any computer. This includes individual/business email accounts and social media. If you suspect that one or several of your online accounts has been hacked, don't panic! Follow the steps below...

The two most desired pieces of information by hackers are your email address and password. This is due to the fact that most people commonly use the same two details across many websites, meaning the same two lines of text can unlock several different accounts.

If you change your password, the risk associated with a hacker knowing your email address is significantly reduced. Consider using a phrase that only you know and relate this to a particular theme to help you remember it.  Additionally, try and include at least one number and special character to make the password really secure eg @*#. Another method to create a strong password is to simply choose three random words.

Change your password

The majority of major online services/shops offers a means to recover your account if it has been compromised.

To ensure the protection of your personal data, you should follow this process for every account that's related to a compromised email address or password.

To keep your friends and family safe, alert everyone in your contact list to let them know your account has been compromised.

If your friends or family have been hacked, you may discover this via a poorly written mass email featuring a phishing link, make sure you let them know so they take action by checking their accounts and following these tips.

In a worst case scenario, a hacker could use your email address and password to access the credit card details of the financial accounts they're linked to.

Any purchases will show up on your bank statements, so be sure to notify the relevant parties if anything suspicious does turn up.

Make sure you regularly scan your computer for malware and viruses.  There are a number of free and paid services available to do so. Always keep these pieces of software up-to-date.