Having your online accounts hacked can cause you to feel helpless, along with worried that not just your personal information, but the personal information of your friends and family got leaked. Security breaches and digital vandalism is something that’s gotten more common as the age of information continues to progress. However, you are in luck. There are a few things you can do to recover your access to your online accounts, and stop any looming damage from a potential hacker.
Report Your Suspicions
Major technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple have created algorithms that work diligently to identify any suspicious activity that happens on your account. While doing so, it could cause them to lock your account for its protection, thus preventing anyone from logging in.
If you suspect that your account has fallen victim to a potential attack, the first thing you should do is reach out to the company. You can typically find ways to report your threat by contacting the company through the help sections of their main website. You should keep in mind that it’s vital you ensure you’re entering the information on the official page of the company, such as google.com.
When you report your issue, you typically receive a follow-up email within 24 to 48 hours with instructions on how to go about restoring the access to your account. The great thing is that the majority of email, apps, and social media platforms collect data from their end users, so it’s easy to confirm your identity.
Change All Passwords
Once you have restored your access to your accounts, the best thing to do is change your password on all accounts. It’s best to not use the same password for multiple accounts and to use a series of upper and lower case letters, along with numbers and special characters. If you make your password too easy, it gets susceptible to hacking.
The online services that you use usually give you the option of being able to see what devices have access to your account. After you change your password, it’s a good idea to look at the security settings and log out of any lingering sessions. You should also make sure that none of your security settings have changed, and make sure that your backup email address and phone number is what it was before. If you’d like to take your security a step forward, you can consider changing your security questions as well.
Run Full Security Checks
Having felt so vulnerable from an attempted online attack, you’re likely not to want it to happen again. There are things you can to do to prevent future attacks. When you access the security features on your online accounts, the majority of them offer additional protection when logging in. You can opt for two-step verification, which means that you require your password and a code that gets messaged to your phone to log in. In other instances, companies such as Facebook allow you to create a list of friends who can confirm your identity if you get hacked.
Once you’ve changed all of your passwords and confirmed your security, you should try to find out how you got hacked. That’s not something that’s possible all the time, but if you run a virus and malware scan on your computer, you can find out if it’s infected. Keep in mind that it’s best to update both your antivirus protection and your operating system before running any scans.
Your email account is something that could have gotten hacked as well, and in cases like this, you should check all filters in your account. Intelligent hackers could have created multiple filters that cause incoming emails to get forwarded to an unrecognizable address. Those filters can be very detrimental to your security because the majority of account recovery gets done through email.
You can recover from having an account hacking, and there are many things you can do to make sure it doesn’t happen to you again. Remember that it’s important you act as if all of your accounts have gotten hacked, even if it’s just one. You should do a thorough security check on all accounts, and change any security settings you can to create preventative measures.