A hacker has infiltrated your computer. The worst has happened and you may or may not be the catalyst. At this point, you may be wondering what to do after you click on a phishing link or how to recover from being hacked. ITque specializes in preventative security measures, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to keep you safe once you’ve been attacked.
As soon as you realize your email address has been hacked, change your password. Not tomorrow, not in a few hours, change it right away. If you’re using an online service for emails such as Gmail, this could become more difficult when the service shuts you out of your account. Always make sure you have a recovery email listed and a verified phone number if your email service has options for either. In the case of a Gmail, both of these are options and should be filled out as soon as you create your account. When you create a new password, ensure it’s not only vastly different than your last one but that it’s better as well. This means it should include upper and lower case letters, numbers, special characters, and shouldn’t be something predictable or commonplace. If you aren’t able to change your password for any reason, call the company and have your account frozen immediately.
Personal Information Assessment
Now that your password is new, you need to determine what extent your hacker had access to your account. Think carefully and assume the worst for any scenario, but don’t panic. There is always a solution to any problem that appears. Have you used your password anywhere else? If you have a habit of reusing the same password across multiple accounts, you’ll want to change your password across all of them. What information does your account have access to? If they can find your social security number, credit card numbers, or anything else that could be compromised, you’ll need to make recovery efforts as fast as possible. This means looking out for credit fraud, checking essential assets, and so on. You should also be on the lookout for changes to any of your accounts, no matter how minor. This could be with your bank, business, phone company, or otherwise. If anything has been changed, get in contact with them and figure out the details, along with a recovery plan to preserve your account information.
If you’ve fallen victim to phishing scams, phishing emails, or have been hacked, you’ll need preventative guards in place to keep your information safe. Setting up fraud alerts with your credit bureau, banks, or shopping accounts ensures that nothing shady happens and no spending is done without your approval. Figure out which of your accounts can have alerts or monitoring services in place. This is important to keep you safe from future threats.
Your passwords have been changed; your accounts have been managed and assessed, now all you need is to prevent something like this from occurring again. Doubling down on your account security is critical when trying to figure out what to do if you get hacked. If not already done, active any two-step authentication measures on all of your accounts. It’s annoying and takes extra time to log in, but that extra time is a safeguard against future loss, be that money, time, or otherwise. You can set up this two-factor in many different ways. Either you can have the code texted to you, use a supported mobile app to authenticate yourself or use a keychain feature so the account knows it’s you. Any of these options works, it’s up to personal preference. At this point, you should also assess your security questions and change them if need be.
Monitor Your Accounts
Now that you’ve secured your email account, social media, banking accounts, and anything else that could be at risk, now you need to take the final steps of observation. Ensure you have anti-virus and anti-malware software in place and that they’ve updated to the most current version. Monitor your accounts for the next month to keep an eye out for any unwanted changes. If anything seems out of place, get it under control immediately. The most dangerous aspect of being hacked is identity theft. It takes months or even years to recover from having your identity stolen entirely, so make sure you keep an eye out for strange activity and act on it quickly.
This comprehensive guide of what to do if you’ve been hacked is a common occurrence in the business world. Accidents happen and slip-ups occur that can affect the lives of your workers or you personally. ITque specializes in preventative security measures to ensure that this scenario never occurs in the first place and offers disaster recovery services if something happens. When you want a complete security option that leaves no room for error, contact ITque today.