Finding out that your computer has been hacked can certainly cause you to panic. Your first thought would probably be just how much confidential information has been accessed?
Well, first thing’s first. Here are the things that you need to immediately do once such nightmare happens:
1. Reset your password – Pronto!
Basically, what hackers are targeting is your account and its details. If you’re not able to access your account, reset your password immediately. If this doesn’t work though, contact your service provider, inform them that your computer has been hacked and have them reset your account.
Here are some tips to obtain a strong password:
+ Don’t make it quick for anyone to guess. Avoid 1234, password, date of your birthday, date of your anniversary or even names and birthdays of your family members as they are so predictable.
+ Refrain from reusing old passwords.
+ Incorporate letters, numbers and characters to make it stronger.
+ Avoid using a similar password in all your accounts. To keep easy track of different passwords, employ a password manager to store such data safely.
2. Do a machine check.
Ensure that you do a complete scan on your computer for any malware or spyware that would get your account details or log in your keystrokes. If you do find something suspicious or malicious in your scan, it’s highly recommended that you reset your password again just to be on the safe side.
3. Verify your account details.
Once you’ve changed all of your passwords, check if your accounts contain any shipping information and make sure that this data is indeed your address. Likewise, if the account gives authority to any 3rd party programs or applications like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you need to ensure that you have indeed granted these apps permission to gain access. For any apps that you are not familiar with, delete them.
4. Verify previous posts.
Check all your social networks to ensure that there are no messages or posts that have been done without your knowledge. Be on the lookout for advertisements, videos to share and suspicious links as hacked social networks use these disguises to make it less obvious to users that they are spam and malware.
5. Set-up of new accounts.
Should a hacker successfully get through your email, the most likely thing he would do is employ your email add to set up new accounts. Do a thorough check of your incoming and sent mails as well as your trash. See if there are any new notifications received using your email add.
Just in case you see that there are indeed new accounts created, log in with the use of the reset password feature then delete the account.
6. Inform your contacts of the hack.
You need to make your contacts aware that your email has been hacked. That’s because hackers may try targeting other accounts that are affiliated with yours. They can send malware to your contacts using your email add too because for sure, these people wouldn’t be suspect anything malicious from emails that you are sending.
These tips will definitely give you a good idea on what things you should do first if your computer does get hacked; however, for additional questions regarding security or help in fixing a hacked PC or laptop, you can give us a call at 480-464-0202.