Hacked, and Identity stolen

Members of the Victoria Computer Club are still getting hacked, and identities stolen, usually by callers who say there is some urgent problem that needs fixing.

When your computer or phone  is hacked, all your accounts and identities are at risk of being stolen. A complete wipe and reinstall will be required, losing all data, and changing all passwords and pin numbers.  Credit cards and bank accounts may be at risk. To reduce the risk before getting hacked, use the following instructions.

You must be the initiator of any interaction with a service provider.  When instead, a service provider phones or emails you first, never use a contact link or phone number provided in the conversation.  Instead, get the company name and department, and hang up.  Then refer to past paper letters mailed to you  to get the real service phone number or website. 

Do not click on a link in an email from a service provider.  Find the service provider’s home web page by typing the service provider’s name into the address bar.  If you search for a service, e.g. computer repair, type the company name back into the address bar.

Let unknown phone numbers go to voice mail.

On your main email account, password manager, and financial accounts, enable multi-factor authentication that requires your smartphone to be nearby.

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