Updated: Jul 1
Author Ajayi Anwansedo
Have you or someone you know been hacked before?
“Nine in 10 Americans have been a victim of some form of hack/scam like fraud, a data breach, identity theft, email or social media hacking” - New York Post
So, it’s either you have been hacked or nine people you know have been hacked!
Questions we should ask ourselves, if most people have been hacked:
Why do people shame the victims?
Why do they ask questions like - What were you thinking? Why did you do that?
Or make statements like - I cannot believe you fell for that! Not you! That’s a dumb thing to do!
Is it a case of “my hack/scam is more complicated than yours”, or “my hacker/scammer is more intelligent than yours”?
What is a Hack?
A hack is when someone gains unauthorized access to data in your computer or mobile device. Hacking is usually done with the intent of scamming the victim. Sometimes, such hack or scam can be done for good. However, the hacking discussed in this article are those associated with fraudulent activities.
Victim blaming is the point of view that the victim is to blame for the hack/scam because of something they did. While I agree with Troy Hunt that the victims of hacked accounts should share the blame, they should not be shamed for their actions. Unfortunately, in most instances the blame goes with the shame.
Victim shaming on the other hand is to blame the victim with undertones of disgust, contempt, disappointment, resentment, and irritation.
The Difference – Blame and Shame
Blame - “you did not set up your 2-step authentication, that is why the hacker hacked your account”
Shame - “I cannot believe you did not set up your 2-step authentication!”, “with your experience in tech you should know better”
Why people shame hacked victims?
In her article “No laughing matter: Blaming the victim of online fraud,” Cassandra Cross reported that hacked victims are viewed as “greedy and gullible”. This is because what comes to mind when people think or hear about a hacked victim, is someone who fell for some “get rich quick trick”.