My Account Was Hacked, Now What?

Hacked

My Account Was Hacked, Now What?

My Account Was Hacked, Now What?

The bad guys are out in full force and they’re very clever these days. It’s not if you get hacked, but when. It’s considered good cyber hygiene is to change your password and security questions often, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to prevent snooping, and use two-factor authentication to reduce the ability of someone entering your accounts without your permission. Using a password manager and changing common router generic usernames and passwords are other defensive moves to thwart the evil ones.

We’ve developed a checklist and acknowledge that many of the same actions are listed for different kinds of accounts that might be hacked. We’re not claiming to be computer experts, but with we work with several of these experts and take their advice as seriously as we want our clients to take our financial planning advice.

 

Email Account Hacked

  • Signs of hacking
    • Reports of strange emails from your contacts saying they got an unusual email from you
    • New emails from unknown contacts or vendors
    • Extortion email demanding payment for restored access or publication of damaging information displaying a current or previous password to convince the demand is real

 

  • Actions
    • Change password
    • Change security question(s)
    • Implement two-factor authentication
    • Change other accounts with the same password
    • Scan computer with anti-virus software/malware
    • Purchase a Virtual Private Network subscription for all devices
    • Change router username and password if still “admin” and “password”
    • Create a new email address as backup and import all your contacts
    • Slowly change over to the new email address and link both accounts
    • Consider changing all passwords over a short period of time

 

Financial Account Hacked

  • Signs of hacking
    • Call from financial institution inquiring about unknown transaction or request
    • Message notice about declined transaction via website secure system
    • Inability to sign on to a website to see a secure message
    • A confirmation email that was not expected or accurate

 

  • Actions
    • Change password
    • Change security question(s)
    • Notify institution especially if you cannot access the website
    • Scan computer with anti-virus software/malware
    • Purchase a VPN for all devices
    • Implement two-factor authentication
    • Change router username and password
    • Switch to a new email address
    • Freeze credit bureau accounts at TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax
    • Change other accounts with the same password
    • Consider changing all passwords over a short period of time

 

Social Media Account Hacked

  • Signs of hacking
    • Reports of an unusual posting coming from family or friends
    • Cannot sign into the account

 

  • Actions
    • Change password
    • Change security question(s)
    • Scan computer with anti-virus software/malware
    • Purchase a VPN for all devices
    • Implement two-factor authentication
    • Change router username and password
    • Switch to a new email address and/or new username
    • Change other accounts with the same password or same sign on
    • Consider changing all passwords over a short period of time

 

Government Services Account (like Social Security) Hacked

  • Signs of hacking
    • Email message from a government agency
    • News reports about government accounts hacked

 

  • Actions
    • Change password
    • Change security question(s)
    • Scan computer with anti-virus software/malware
    • Purchase a VPN for all devices
    • Implement two-factor authentication
    • Implement credit bureau freeze for all 3 bureaus
    • Change router username and password
    • Switch to a new email address and/or new username
    • Consider changing all passwords over a short period of time

 

If you have additional suggestions to add to this list, we are happy to accept your recommendations. Email us via info@mainstreetplanning.com

 

Jim Ludwick
Jim Ludwick
jim@mainstreetplanning.com

Jim Ludwick is the founder of MainStreet Financial Planning. His varied education and life experiences have enabled him to apply his knowledge and experience into useful solutions for personal financial problems. His writing and broadcasting activities allow him to help many more than just individual clients. He loves a microphone.

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