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Your personal data were misused or changed

In your everyday life, you transmit some of your personal data in many ways to "third parties", e.g. when paying with a credit card or bank card, when using payback cards, when ordering goods over the internet or when participating in social networks.

Normally, your personal data are secured by PIN numbers or passwords in order to prevent unauthorised persons from accessing your data in order to change or misuse them.

However, a misuse of your data is possible if unauthorized third parties have obtained your passwords or other security codes for your data access, if they forward your data or your security codes to other persons without your permission or if they withdraw money from your account or order goods by using your data. It is also possible that someone uses your name for developing a wrong profile in a social network or installing e-mail account in order to harm you.

Your personal data may also be altered if someone knows or hacks the password of your e-mail address or your password in a social network and uses your account for sending messages or changing your existing profile, for example.

Such a misuse or alteration of your personal data is a crime (Sections 202a, 202b, 202c, 263a and 303a, 303b of the German Criminal Code).

If you notice

  • that money is withdrawn from your account without your authorisation in any way,
  • that you receive an invoice for goods you have not bought,
  • that you receive goods you have not ordered,
  • that something is wrong with your profile or your mail account, or
  • that your friends refer to a message you are supposed to have sent,

please contact the police or the public prosecution office in any case.

They will help you to secure your data as rapidly as possible and to limit the damage. In addition, the police and the public prosecution office can prosecute the crime on your request.

A crime of this type may also lead to mental consequences like fears or uncertainty. In this case, you should contact a support facility.

The homepage of the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (Federal Office for Information Security) also provides tips for securing your data and for preventing cyber attacks.