Uru koremana

Unauthorised access

The term 'unauthorised access' describes the act of directly – or indirectly – accessing systems, accounts or information without authorisation.

What it is

Unauthorised access is when someone accesses systems or accounts online that they don't have permission to access, including:

  • social media accounts
  • websites
  • bank accounts
  • emails
  • business networks and systems.

How it works

Someone might access your information without permission for personal gain, or to cause you loss.
They might get access to your systems, accounts or information:

  • by still having access even if they no longer have permission to do so – for example, you allowed your partner access to an account, split up, and haven't yet changed the password
  • by tricking you into giving them access or information they shouldn’t have, for example through phishing
  • by guessing your password – either by using automated software or by using information such as from a data leak
  • by stealing passwords, for example through malware installed on your device
  • by exploiting vulnerable software.


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