My Account Is Hacked? Don’t Panic! The Reality is nobody is 100% secure from being hacked. Nobody is and never will be safe online. All systems have vulnerabilities and can be compromised.
If this is the case what should I do if an account is hacked?
Firstly, we need to find out that one of our accounts has been compromised. How do we do that? Well, there are a number of ways in which we can find out.
The most common methods for noticing if your computer or accounts are hacked are –
- Antivirus switched off – its almost impossible to turn off antivirus accidentally
- You receive fake antivirus warnings – they look different or unusual
- Passwords don’t work – a sign they have been changed by a 3rd party
- New icons on dashboard – don’t run unknown applications
- Cursor moves on its own
- Your printer and other peripheral devices don’t work properly
- You are redirected to different websites you didn’t choose
- Your files are deleted by someone else – 100% sign of attack
- Your data is on the internet even though you didn’t put it there
- Unusual webcam behavior
- Your computer works very slowly
So you think your account or computer is hacked now what?
Don’t panic, take action.
When you realize – My Account Is Hacked! There are a number of things you can now do to solve the issue, time is critical things could quickly escalate. The stolen data could be used to hack further accounts and/or computers. Financial theft, identity theft, blackmail are some of the methods that can be used by unscrupulous people.
Check the service or account that you believe was the source of the hack.
Log into the account of the service that was hacked as soon as you find out about the breach. Check your settings, if you are unable to access the account then do a password reset.
Change your password
A common way for hackers to access multiple accounts is by a person re-using the same password over and over again. You should have unique, strong passwords, that you change regularly. If you use your password over a number of sites you will need to change all of these as soon as possible.
Use two-factor authentication.
It may seem a bit of a pain to use but two-step verification will add an extra layer of security, using your mobile phone. More and more services now offer this extra layer of password security so be sure to use it!
Change the password to your email
As soon as you find out about the hack, change the password for the email you used to create the account for the service that got hacked. You should also check your settings, especially the Email Forwarding, Filters, Reply-to Address and Security Questions, to make sure that nothing has been added or changed. An cyber criminal will try to leave some kind of a back door opened, to come back into the account.
Take a look at your financial accounts
You should keep a close eye on your bank account and credit cards daily in the coming months. Immediately report to your financial institution if anything looks suspicious. Again if available, activate 2 step security.
Do a quick spring clean on your security and settings
Install a good antivirus and run a deep scan. Check to see if your firewall is activated. It’s also recommended that you use an anti-malware security program.
Keep your software up-to-date
Remove old software and apps that you don’t use anymore
Don’t forget to report the incident
Most people usually skip this step, even though it’s essential in the fight against criminal hackers. How are the law enforcement agencies supposed to track and stop a criminal group from attacking, if they don’t have enough information gathered about them?
Always Be Aware That You Can Be Attacked
You can’t ever be 100% safe from cyber attack, even if you never use the Internet and you don’t own a computer or mobile device. Don’t forget that your data is still registered by the government, health, insurance and financial institutions or postal office.
Nobody wants to get to the point of saying – My Account Is Hacked! In order to minimize the chance of being hacked you need to make sure your staff and colleagues are sufficiently aware of the latest cyber threats and how to best prevent. Take a look at how Secario makes your staff cyber security aware by trying our first video lessons for free.
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