Tagged with User account x

Password reset

In case you have trouble accessing your account and you have checked that you are entering the right password  (mind the CAPS LOCK and keyboard language), you can try resetting your account password. On most platforms and online services this can be done by clicking on the link named “Forgot your password?” or something similar, which is located on the login page.

Follow the instructions on the “Forgot your password” page and make sure that you have access to the email address/phone number you used to create your account. If you don’t have access to this email or phone, you will need to use the recovery (backup) account  if the provider supports that option. Otherwise, you might be left permanently locked out of the account.

Most likely, the service provider will send you a password reset link or code via email or other means of communication, which will enable you to create a new password for your account. From then on, you will use the newly created password to access your account.

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Recovery account

Most platforms and online service providers provide you with an option to set up a recovery or backup contact, usually an email address, a phone number or a set of expendable backup codes. It is very important to set up this option so you don’t get locked out of your account.

In case you can’t access your account and you are not logged in on any other device, use your backup email address or phone to gain access to the original account. Make sure you have access to your backup communication method/account - otherwise you might never be able to access the lost account.

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Security Questions

Another method to gain access to your account is to provide answers to the security questions, in case you enabled that option in your account security settings. However, some providers are leaving the option to implement security questions due to their inefficiency (they can easily be guessed, etc.). Also, people often don’t change the answers to these questions for years or simply forget them because they don’t have a frequent need for them.

However, if you still have a security question as your account backup solution , make sure the answer is kept in a safe place, that it is not some publicly available information or something easy to guess (“What’s your favourite food?” for example).

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Request a recovery of a deleted account

In case your account gets deleted, there is a possibility that you could request a recovery , as long as not much time has passed since it was deleted. In case you didn’t use your account for a long time, you probably won’t be able to restore it in full.

The process differs among various service providers. With Google, for instance, a user will be asked a series of questions in order to confirm it is indeed their account. Advice Google gives to users trying to restore their accounts is to answer as many questions as possible without skipping them entirely, use a familiar device and location, be exact with passwords and security questions, use an email connected to your account which you can access (e.g. a recovery email) and add helpful details if you're asked why you can't access your account.  

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Identity manipulation or misuse of personal data is a serious threat with potentially far-reaching consequences. Whether the target is a person whose personal data has been misused, or someone else, the damage can be incalculable.

Due to the complexity and different manifestations of this category of assault, it is difficult to determine the legal basis offering the most suitable protection. In the case of fraud committed using the computer belonging to another person, and resulting in material or financial gain for the perpetrator, a criminal complaint may be filed under art. 301 (Computer Fraud).  Another criminal offense, the unauthorized collection of personal data (art. 146), must be initiated via private lawsuit, and therefore the identity of the perpetrator must be known.  

If a case of identity manipulation leads to psychological harm, or damage to reputation or dignity, then compensation may be claimed using civil legal procedures. Before initiating this type of lawsuit, the identity of the perpetrator as well as evidence substantiating the claim of identity manipulation and resulting harm must be provided.


Identity manipulation is often tied to financial fraud and online theft. There are different ways you can protect yourself from these crimes: limit the amount of money that can be transferred to another account, or taken out via ATM at one time, use at least a two-factor authentication system for your finance-related logins, and destroy old bank and other identity cards with sensitive data. 

If you are a victim of identity manipulation, inform the police as soon as possible, notify the financial institutions or websites where you have accounts and temporarily block compromised bank accounts and/or cards. 

Timely risk assessment and digital hygiene are important means of  prevention and protection.

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Publicly disclosing personal information about a target, such as home address, familial status, bank and credit card details, date of birth etc. This information can be posted on one or many different platforms, in comment sections, or via video or text. 

Regardless whether or not disclosed data is utilised for harassment, the unauthorized posting of data alone, qualifies as doxxing, and is viewed as a type of online attack. As is often the case, when doxxing creates an imminent danger to safety, art. 138 of the Criminal Code - Endangering safety - could provide legal protection. In this case, public prosecutors and police are mandated to follow up, investigate and responsible for protection. As the filing party, you are responsible for collecting evidence  needed for filing the criminal charges. This charge provides stricter sanctions if the target is a (female) journalist.

ADVICE: Explain in detail how, why and when you feel unsafe, and detail your concern for the safety of your family and loved ones. These details could be the key to success when it comes to court proceedings.

Art. 146 of the Criminal Code, Unauthorised Collection of Personal Data, which prohibits the collection, publication and use of data for purposes “other than those for which they are intended”, could provide the basis for legal protection. 

Document every instance and location in which your personal data was posted, and file this evidence with the police.

Immediately report doxxing and any other unauthorised publication of personal data to the websites or platforms where it was posted, and to the police. 

Follow-up on your report to better ensure they respond.  Immediate action is key to prevent further distribution of your personal information online.

Turn off location tracking options on your phone, Google maps, and other applications that collect your sensitive data (location, key address, etc). 

Put strict privacy controls on your social media profiles, and two-step authentication  systems for all website logins storing your sensitive data. 

Talk to the people you trust - colleagues, friends, employers. Urge the police to alert the platform to remove your personal data, and use website and platform reporting mechanisms. 
Deleteme is a tool that can help find and remove sensitive data online.

If you ever feel that the online violence you’re experiencing, might transition into the physical world, call the police → immediately. 

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The misuse of reporting or flagging mechanisms, or false claims of copyright infringement or other violations of Terms of Service or Community rules and regulations on social media platforms, for the purpose of blocking, suspending or preventing more extensive digital participation.

Similar to trolling, it is difficult to qualify false reporting as a criminal offense. Rather, it is seen as a misuse of social media platforms’  internal reporting mechanisms. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find a remedy, as the mechanisms for reporting usually employ automated systems that often fail to offer adequate help. 

It is difficult to combat false reporting. Both Facebook and Twitter offer assistance for reactivating accounts that have been shut down due to false reporting. Unfortunately, these platforms are slow to respond to this particular issue, and creating a new account is generally a quicker solution. 

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