Former hacker gives online safety advice

A computer hacker from Whitehaven has been describing how he hacked into email accounts using the information publicly visible on people’s Facebook accounts.

After looking through his victims Facebook page, Chris Hardy, who recently pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation, managed to acquire enough information to figure out the answers to the victims’ security questions on their email accounts. He was then able to reset the victims’ Facebook passwords and access their Facebook accounts.

Going a step further, Hardy also used the Facebook Chat application to convince one of his victim’s friends to hand over their credit card details.

Keep personal details private on Facebook

Hardy states; “There is an option to hide your address and that will stop people knowing your email address and hacking into your Facebook account.”

You can do so by clicking in the “Info” section of your Facebook page and selecting Edit next to the “Contact Information” section. There will be a drop down list next to your email address that will allow you to change the privacy settings to as who can view your email address. You should consider doing the same for postal address and phone number.

Take care sharing financial details online (full stop)

Hardy himself pleads for users to be more careful about who they communicate with online. We recommend that you never give bank details out over the Internet, whether it is by online chat, instant messenger or email. This includes emailing your account number and sort code to a friend, always remember that email is not completely secure, so try and split them up. As an example you could send the account number by Skype and the sort code by email.

Stay Safe & Stay Aware.

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