Throwback: Hacked or stolen?

In this new Throwback series, we’re digging into our archives of over four years and bring you some of the old posts that are still relevant today. They might be slightly updated from their original versions. This post is back from August 2014, and is one of the very first ones we have ever published.

nl_Eline-star--star-Hacked or stolen?

“My account was hacked!” That’s not something you want to hear from your kid. The thought of it is nasty too: Some stranger has invaded your child’s privacy and is roaming around in the account doing who-knows-what.

When someone goes to kids’ accounts, it rarely has anything to do with hacking. Hacking means that someone broke the code or password in order to access the account. Normally you hear about hacking when government websites have been taken over or business databases have been broken into. Those acts can have serious consequences to both the target and the hacker.

correct term is stealing

But why would anyone hack into your kid’s account?

Normally the correct term would be stealing. Most invasions to kids’ accounts happen because someone – usually a peer, sometimes even a friend – got the kid to reveal their password. And we all know that logging in by typing in a password has nothing to do with hacking.

The kids who want to get into others accounts can be sneaky. They can promise something so good in exchange for the password that it’s hard to say no even if the alarm bells are ringing. And after all, kids are just kids: Every year thousands of grown-ups fall for the most basic email scams (ever gotten the Nigerian prince offering you his inheritance?) so how could the kids be any smarter?

Contact the admins

Still, the account is now in someone else’s hands. If you can access the account, change the password immediately or contact the site administrators. It’s a good idea to change the kid’s email account password as well, and all the websites where they used the same password. That way the intruder can not come back.

Many service providers like to know of suspicious activity that has happened on their site, so don’t hesitate to contact the administrators! Here at Momio, in most cases we can give the account back to its rightful owner and even find and punish the wrongdoer.

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About the author:

Silja Nielsen, Momio

Silja Nielsen is Head of Community and Safety at Momio. She has worked at the company since 2010. Silja has a master’s degree in Media Studies and is interested in privacy, online behaviour and online communities.

Read a Q&A with Silja here!