Anti-hacking services charge high fees

Many Vietnamese pay a fee to have their Facebook accounts protected, but experts have recommended against it.

Vu Le Hang, an online cosmetics retailer in Hanoi, spent VND2 million to protect her account.

Anti-hacking services charge high fees



“Selling goods online is my bread earner. I would rather spend several million dong more than lose my account,” she explained.

Hang said the service provider is a ‘well known expert on Facebook’ and VND2 million is a ‘reasonable fee’.

The service fee ranges from several hundred thousand dong to several million dong. In some cases, the fee could be even higher. Those who have high numbers of followers, or famous businesspeople and celebrities, have to pay higher fees than other users.

 Dinh Anh, the owner of a Facebook account with 20,000 followers, said he is seeking an anti-hacking service provider.

 


“A lot of my friends complain they have lost Facebook accounts. I am afraid I will also lose my account one day,” Anh said, adding that Facebook is his ‘workplace’, therefore, he has to protect it at any cost.

Anh is considering signing a contract on anti-hacking service with a company which commits to protect his accounts 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

The initial fee is VND5 million. The service provider will review nicks, check potential risks and filter the list of friends. From the next month, Anh will have to pay VND1 million a month to keep protecting his account.

Pham Thanh Doan, a senior expert in cyber security, said there are many anti-hacking service providers because the demand is high.

The service fee ranges from several hundred thousand dong to several million dong. In some cases, the fee could be even higher. Those who have high numbers of followers, or famous businesspeople and celebrities, have to pay higher fees than other users.

According to Doan, there are two reasons why people cannot log into their Facebook accounts.

First, the accounts may be stolen because of password and personal information disclosure. In this case, service providers check problems, and enable two-layer authentication to increase security level.

In fact, skillful internet users can do these works themselves.

Second, users’ accounts are locked because of violations of Facebook’s policies. This case is called ‘rip nick’.

Facebook runs with rules and those who don’t follow the rules will see their accounts locked. Besides, users could be the victims of nasty trick played by someone who exploits Facebook’s policies.

In this case, service providers will contact Facebook and follow steps to take back accounts. The steps can be undertaken by users. However, many people do not know this and service providers have opportunities to make money.

Doan believes that users can protect their accounts by not revealing personal information, and not accessing websites with unclear origin or accounts with public devices to avoid the risk of password disclosure.

Thanh Mai

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