‘I Just Got Hacked’ – A True Life Story

I just got hacked and it didn’t feel so good.

Monday morning and I receive about ten emails in succession, mailer-demons. But I didn’t send any emails to anyone I wondered to myself. Seconds later, I get an email to verify my password on my Blackberry which I tried to do, Lo and behold, incorrect password shows on my screen and I thought to myself, my Blackberry has gone rogue on me.

I bring out my trusty laptop, ‘you can’t fail me now’ I muttered to myself but Yahoo does not know me anymore, my primary email address is gone. I have been hacked! How many of us have had similar experiences with our emails and websites illegally taken over by unseen thieves.

For what purpose you’d ask? While some hackers do it for the fun of it, it is imperative that we take our security a little seriously, as more affordable smartphones and tablets are available in the market, increase in broadband internet usage and a booming African economy.

With more reliance on these devices, our cashless society and almost a hundred million mobile subscribers, more people are on the verge of losing their devices, their identities and violation of their privacy. Statistics have revealed that Nigeria ranks 59th globally in internet threats.

We store most of our sensitive data like account details, pins and passwords on our devices, most of us out of ignorance believe our devices can not be stolen and we don’t even bother to lock our phones while when we do, we use passwords like ‘password1‘.

While we may not have mobile banking apps, we shop online and use most social media networks and most of these devices and sites save our debit card details automatically.

Here are a few tips to avoid getting hacked:

  • Set your phone on auto lock
  • Use difficult to crack passwords
  • Turn your Bluetooth off when not in use – a lot of us do this
  • Make sure you download applications from a verified sites
  • Get a remote mobile service like Blackberry protect to help wipe your phone memory when stolen.
  • Do not use unsecured Wi-Fi, even if it’s free.

If you are thinking of getting the Afronolly app on your mobile device, you may want to start from MTN’s website.

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