What To Do If You Are Hacked
November is Cyber Security Awareness Month. Hackers have exposed the personal information of 110 million Americans (roughly half of the nation's adults) in the last 12 months alone. That massive number is even more concerning by the amount of hacked accounts--up to 432 million.
In the unfortunate event that your personal information is compromised online, here are some things you can do right away to rectify the situation.
Shut them out
In a situation where your email account is hacked, the first thing to do is to change your passwords, and lock the hackers out of your account right away. As for more sensitive information, such as credit accounts or bank profiles online, the best thing to do is contact the bank right away, and follow their security measures. If you are a large company, the best thing to do is contact a legal professional who can help guide you through the process.
Isolate the issue
If a computer is infected with hacker ransomware or a virus allowing them to access your information, the best thing to do is find out which computer it is if you have more than one, and get rid of the infection as soon as possible. If it’s a work computer, contact your IT person, or if the machine is at home, then contact a tech support service that can help you service your computer.
If your system is one that gives access to other people’s information, such as a company with multiple accounts, containing people’s sensitive financial or personal info, then the best thing to do is alert those people right away that passwords and logins need to be updated immediately.
If it was just your email or something like that, then once you’ve blocked the hackers out with password updates, you can apologize for any inconvenience based on spam email being sent out from your account, as needed.
Document the event
Make notes of the data breach, and include actions taken to resolve it. This will inform any future upgrades to security issues and help plan and deal with any potential future hacks.
If your identity is stolen and hackers have access to your credit information, the results can be costly and can take years to recover from. Until the level of compromise is understood, it might be wise to put a hold on your credit file until the situation is resolved.
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