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Michael Hannigan
Michael Hannigan, Information Systems Manager
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 11697
Experience:  25 Years Experience in Field. MCSE, ICCP, CNE, Greenbelt
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Someone hacked into my bank account. Bank wants me to change

Resolved Question:

Someone hacked into my bank account. Bank wants me to change my screen name in order to have online banking. I've already changed my password. How do I change my screen name?


Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 6 years ago.

Hello. I can assist you with your question.


Your bank screen name? If you could give me the bank name I can point you in the right direction. Please don't provide any information other than the bank name.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
OK. Chase Bank. Need new internet aol user ID for online banking.
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 6 years ago.

From Chase Bank this is an extremely unusual request. So what you have said so far would make me hesitant to change anyhthing or tell anyone about it. So I want to slow down a bit to make sure we don't compromise your account security.


Also keep in mind that throughout this, you should not give me any personal information because these messages are not private.


So, please start at step one.

  1. You had online banking with Chase?
  2. If so, someone compromised your account and logged into it?
  3. You changed your password XXXXX secure the Chase account?
  4. And Chase wants you to change your (Chase?/AOL?) screen name for online banking?


That's how I understand what you've said so far, and I can't think of any circumstance where the fourth request would be valid. Some banks will require you to change your login ID at that institution, such as Citizens Bank. So can you please take your time and tell me where I'm right and what I am misunderstanding?


If it's simply that you have to change your AOL screen name, we can do that.


I'm not busting your chops. You might be perfectly comfortable with the requests and I'm not understanding them correctly. But as a third party, I want to be responsible with suggesting you do something that might give your information to the wrong people. Make sense?

Edited by XXXXX XXXXXnigan on 1/4/2011 at 9:06 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks. Yes to questions 1, 2, and 4. I simply changed my password XXXXX my aol online account thinking that this was enough but my banker wants me to also change my aol screen name. Are you saying that this is unecessary?
Expert:  replied 6 years ago.

Yes. Strictly fronm a security standpoint, it is unnecessary as long as you have a sufficiently strong pasword.


I beleive your banker is thinking that if you change your screen name there is less of a chance that this person (if it is one person) will even know what your account is, much less what the password XXXXX But changing the screen name really doesn't provide any added security. It certainly won't hurt security if you change it. Adding an additional screen name to your account without getting rid of the old one actually increases what we would call the "attack vector" or "surface area" (exposure).


So in short no. But if he is requiring it, it can be done. It would mean not having that email address any more, etc. If the security of your AOL account is the concern, then my recommendation would be to change that to a strong password XXXXX they can't be hacked. The fewer changes, the lower the opportunity to create security holes.


There are some good guidelines for creating strong passwords that you can actually remember here:


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