Helping you balance your online life

Think you’ve been hacked? Here’s what to do.

Spooky human form looking through window

Do you have the feeling you’ve been hacked? Are your passwords not working, files disappearing or have you noticed new programs on your computer that you didn’t put there? Whether you have solid proof or just a sneaking suspicion, the idea of someone stealing your private information is creepy enough to warrant taking some safety measures.

Reset Your Passwords
Yes, it’s a huge pain, but you’ll need to reset all your passwords. If you can’t get into an account and the password recovery option doesn’t work, make sure to contact that company as soon as possible to report that you’ve been hacked. Consider using a password manager like LastPass Premium to more securely keep track of all your new passwords. Also check out this blog about common password blunders.

Scan Your Device
Even if you have security software that automatically scans your device (and if you don’t have it, you should), run a scan for malware and spyware that could be stealing your sensitive information or logging your keystrokes. You can also add an extra layer of protection to your device, to complement your security software, with a product like AOL Tech Fortress.

Always Choose Two-Factor Authentication
Many websites offer two-factor authentication, which requires you to provide a second form of identification in addition to your username and password. It takes a few extra minutes but it adds an extra layer of protection to your accounts, so it’s well worth the time.

Verify Account Details
If any of your accounts have shipping information, check to make sure it hasn’t been changed to another address. You can also check social media accounts to make sure all recent posts are from you.

Unfortunately, you can’t completely eliminate the risk of being hacked, but you can take precautions to make it less likely. And it always helps to have a plan just in case it happens to you.