What could go wrong if I get hacked?
This is a huge question and the answers are not pleasant. On one level the extent of the problem depends on the significance
of the data contained on that account that was hacked. If someone has hacked into your fantasy football team, the damage might
be fairly limited. It depends whether you have also entered your identity information, such as name, address and date of birth.
This could give a hacker the ability to attempt identity theft, especially if they have somehow worked out the answers to your security questions.
Naturally it would be far more serious if your bank account was hacked. Nevertheless, even a hack on an unimportant seeming site
could have far-reaching consequences, especially if you tend to use the same passwords on multiple accounts.
Why did I get hacked?
This could happen for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps a hacker simply guessed your password. Perhaps you logged into a fake site/
Keylogger malware may have been installed on one of your devices. One or more websites you use may have been hacked and the
information stolen from them rather than you. You may have logged in to an unsecure site on a public network.
What should I do if I get hacked?
You should have a plan for this eventuality.
Your plan will involve securing your data as quickly as possible, changing the appropriate passwords as quickly as possible
and working out who you need to inform.
I will discuss this in the first section of the course. A well devised plan will minimise the risk of contagion before it happens.
How can I keep myself safe from being hacked?
This relates to the plan you will have made in the previous question. The Web Safety Guru course will help as I
will teach you about having stronger passwords, avoiding scam emails, reducing the risks of malware, being careful on social
media and being careful on public networks.
Why should I have different passwords for different websites?
If you have the same passwords throughout, a hacker who gains access to your account on one website effectively has the
ability to access your account on the other websites that you log into. Even if your password is stolen from an unimportant
website, it could then jeopardise your data on more important websites. The next problem is that if you are hacked, you need
to change your password as quickly as possible. Do you really weant to have to do this on 150 websites? Thirdly, if your password
has been hacked, you might want to know which site has been compromised. This is much easier if all your passwords are different.
If all my passwords need to be different, how am I supposed to remember them?
I reckon I have at least 200 passwords. Unless you are a would memory champion there is no way you can remember them all,
especially as you will be changing passwords from time to time. There are ways around this problem and I will discuss them
on the course. What you don't want to do it write down a list of passwords in their full unencrypted form. This would be
a nightmare if you lost the list or it fell into the wrong hands.
How often should I change my passwords?
This varies but as a guide, passwords in a work environment are often set to change every 28 or 42 days. The more critical
the password, the more prepared you should be to change it on a regular basis.
Who should I tell my passwords to?
The perfect answer to this question is absolutely nobody, even your spouse. In every case the answer should be as few people as possible.
Your bank should never require your complete password and they will usually inform you of this. If anybody asks you
for your password you should immediately be highly suspicious.
What kinds of passwords should I avoid using?
Even if you are feeling lazy, you shouldn't use passwords like "123456" or "password" for any site you visit. These are so obviously
guessable, they are barely better than not having a password at all. The more easy as password is to crack, the weaker it is. You only want
How do I know if my passwords are strong enough?
I will discuss this on the course. There are ways of measuring password strength online. In fact many websites now contain a
password strength checker that tells you whether the password you are creating is strong enough.
What is two factor authentication (2FA)?
2FA is used as a form of second password for certain critical websites. The idea is that even if your main password is stolen,
you have a backstop. And this backstop is accessed in such a way that a hacker is extremely unlikely to have both your password
and your 2FA at the same time.
Examples of 2FA include a card reader when logging into your bank or a using a special app on your mobile phone. (The idea
being that the hacker needs both your current password AND your mobile phone).
You should use this as often as possible for your really important accounts, even if it feels
messy and time consuming to set up.