Archive for March, 2013

Hacked: What Next?

Friday, March 1st, 2013

No matter how many steps you take to protect yourself or your information, there is still a chance you will get hacked. However, the sooner you identify you have been compromised and the faster you respond, the more you can minimize the harm.


You probably have numerous online accounts for everything from online banking and shopping to email and social networking. Keeping track of them can be a constant challenge. Here are some steps to help you identify and respond to compromised accounts.


  1. You can no longer log in to the website, even when you enter the correct password.
  2. Your friends & co-workers are receiving emails from you that you never sent.
  3. Someone is posting messages on your social networking page (such as Facebook or Twitter), posing as you.
  4. Someone is transferring money out of your online bank account.
  5. Contact information or other settings on your online accounts are being changed without your knowledge.
  6. When a website or service provider publicly announces they have been hacked and user accounts/passwords have been compromised.


  1. If you can still log in, change your password immediately and be sure to use strong passwords.
  2. If you can’t log in, contact the service provider or website immediately.
  3. Once you have regained access, review all of your account settings to make sure nothing has been changed by the attacker.
  4. Make sure you change your password on any other accounts that have the same password.


With the explosion of mobile devices, you now have even more things to protect. Once attackers control your device, they have the ability to intercept every action you take on that device. Here are some steps to help you identify and respond to infected devices.


  1. Your computer is taking you to websites you do not want to go to & running programs that you never installed.
  2. Your anti-virus reports an infected file/ Anti-virus and system updates are failing.
  3. Your device is continually crashing.
  4. Your smart phone is making expensive calls or purchasing apps without your permission.


  1. Perform a full scan with your updated anti-virus solution. If it detects any infected files, follow the steps it recommends.
  2. Make sure you install the latest version of your anti-virus & do regular backups of your personal Data.


Protecting personal information, such as your Social Security Number, medical history, or purchase history, can be challenging, since you often do not control this data. Instead, organizations like your health care provider, your credit card company or your school store maintain this data. Here are some steps to help you identify when your personal information has been compromised and how to respond.


  1. A service provider announces they had an incident and your data may have been compromised, such as your credit card number or your medical history.
  2. You see unauthorized charges on your credit card.
  3. Your credit reports indicate loan applications you do not recognize.
  4. Your health insurance is processing claims for treatments you did not receive.


  1. Call your credit card issuer immediately & have them cancel the credit card and issue a new one.
  2. If you believe there is fraud with your insurance account or bank account, call your insurance company or bank.
  3. During any filing process, always document all conversations with date, time and the name of the person you talked to.

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