What can I do if someone hacks into my user account and uses my account without permission? (Hotmail, Blogspot, Facebook etc)

If someone accesses your account, such as a Hotmail, Blogspot or Facebook, without permission, you may have legal recourse against the perpetrator.

Under the Computer Misuse Act, various offences involving the unauthorised access of computer material are punishable crimes. These include, for instance:

  1. Logging into your account without permission
  2. Logging into your account to commit a further crime
  3. Modifying the contents of your account without permission
  4. Using the account (for example, sending out emails) without permission
  5. Causing the owner to be unable to access his account
  6. Disclosing the account password without permission

If you find yourself a victim of a computer crime mentioned above, you should promptly take action. First of all, you need to contact the administrator of the online service that you are using.

If your Facebook account has been hacked, and you are unable to login, contact the Facebook technical support and get them to terminate any unauthorised access. You may need to submit proof that the account belongs to you. Some online services offer valuable handphone SMS verification. Secondly, you should lodge a police complaint. Depending on the severity, the perpetrator may be prosecuted for his offences under the Computer Misuse Act.

In some circumstances, you may find that your account details have been compromised due to phishing. For example, spam sites may use your account to send out spam to your friends. This is generally less harmful. Change the password and other account details immediately if you are still able to login.