What you need to know if your family details get hacked
When news broke that children’s toy and tech company VTech had been hacked, it emerged that details of 4.8 million of its customers had been stolen.
VTech confirmed that its customer database contains “general user profile information including name, email address, encrypted password, secret question and answer for password retrieval, IP address, mailing address and download history”.
But no credit card or bank information was obtained. Which is the good news.The hackers can’t obtain any money from you with just this information.
The not-so-good news is that the hackers did get email addresses and password information.
So they may target those email addresses to try to get more info they can use. Which means being extra vigilant.
What you need to do
We’re all doing more and more shopping and activities online, and we reckon it’s worth being aware of the pitfalls. If a site you’ve given your details to is hacked, you’ll need to:
- Change your password if you’ve used it elsewhere
- Be extra vigilant to protect yourself against scamming emails called phishing
What’s phishing and how can you spot it?
If a hacker has managed to get hold of your email address – through a security breach like the VTech one – it means you could be a target for getting scam emails that try and get information from you like your bank card details, or even money directly.
If you receive an odd email that you weren’t expecting you might have been targeted. The emails can look very professional (and it’s easy to see how people get duped) but there are a few things to look out for:
- Bad grammar and spelling – if the basics are badly done it’s probably not come from the office of a major corporate business.
- It asks for information that isn’t appropriate. Your bank will never ask you to email the answer to a security question or reveal a password
- If it seems to good to be true it probably is. It’s a simple rule of thumb but makes so much sense. Big promises in the email are generally a scam.
- The email’s come unexpectedly. If it’s a notification from a company or your bank that you weren’t expecting, didn’t ask for or seems out of the realm of what you’d normally get in your inbox, the alarm bells are probably ringing.
- If it just doesn’t feel right and your instincts are telling you something doesn’t seem right about the email – it probably isn’t. If you start to engage by responding or you’re giving away a lot of details about yourself – just stop. Get a second opinion. While it might all be good, instincts are a powerful thing so do take note of what your gut says.
Think you’ve been part of the VTech hack?
Any UK customers who think they might be affected by the VTech security breach and who have concerns should email firstname.lastname@example.org.