What to Do If You’ve Been Hacked (Part 2)

Posted by Tobias Eichenseer Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:23:00 GMT

In our previous blog post, we gave you a list of steps to take if you have been a victim of a data or security breach. In this article, we will continue this discussion and delve deeper into what to do if you’ve been hacked.

File a Police Report
To protect yourself against excessive financial liability, you need to file a report with your local police department as soon as possible. Your status as an identity theft victim is thus made official, and this creates an official document for you to show the credit bureaus to lock down any activity around your identity.

Reclaim your account
The majority of mainstream, online services (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Apple, etc.) have tools in place that will help you get your account back after it has been compromised. Generally speaking, you will need to answer predetermined security questions in order to verify your identity before proceeding.

Check for backdoors
The more sophisticated hackers will not just access your account, they will also ensure they can get back in once you’ve gotten them out, by setting up tools. Thus, when you have your accounts back, you should immediately ensure there isn’t a backdoor in another place designed to let an attacker straight back in. Check your email rules and filters to ensure that nothing is getting forwarded to another account without your knowledge. Also, check if the security questions were changed, or if the answers were changed.

Restore from back-up
It is now time to restore your data from back-ups, and bring the system back to normal.

Ask Yourself “Why”?
Finally, while fixing things, take some time to reflect back and ask yourself this question: what was the aim of the breach? If it was your bank account, the answer may be obvious, in other cases, such as email for instance, it could have been for several reasons – from getting password resets on other services, to using it to send spam, to requesting money from your contacts. An attacker may even be trying to gain access to your business. Knowing why you were targeted can help you understand how you were breached.

…But Stay Calm!
Although getting hacked may seem like a nightmare, it is not the end of the world. By following the tips above, you can get up and rolling as quickly as possible.

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