I'm Hacked. Now What?
No one likes a hacked account. Am I right? A hacked account can result in financial loss, identity theft, or just a whole lot of wasted time. None of which is fun. But unfortunately, you don’t have too much control over what is or is not hacked. All you have control over is the aftermath. So, if you happen to find yourself on the receiving end of a data breach, here’s what you should remember.
Your login credentials should be changed as quickly as possible. The sooner you get around to doing this, the better off you’ll be. If you change your logins before anyone gets inside your account, then obviously they won’t be able to get inside your account at all. Even if they manage to crack your credentials, it won’t do them any good. Those credentials will be old by that time.
When criminals hack their way into a database, they can stand to take a lot of information. Some valuable. Some not. But one of the things they will likely gather is your email address. And surprisingly, if they have your email address, they don’t need much else to send a rather legit phishing email your way. But your email address isn’t the only thing they might have. In all likelihood, they probably have a few personal details, as well. Because of this, you need to be wary of any emails you receive from a company after they’ve been hacked. Think twice about clicking links, downloading attachments, or fulfilling any requests – even if it looks 100% legitimate.
Again, hackers can stand to take a lot of information about you after a breach. If they have enough of the right information, they can potentially steal your identity. After a breach, monitor your credit report carefully. Depending on the severity of the breach and the type of company breached, there might be free credit monitoring services offered. However, if there aren’t, you can always create a free account on Credit Karma.
If you any have financial information tied to your account, then you’ll have to keep a close eye on your bank statements, as well. You may even need to request a replacement for any credit card used or saved on the site. Keep in mind, this doesn’t just apply for websites like Target and Amazon – where purchasing products is the sole purpose. It could be a site like LinkedIn, who gives you the option to pay for a higher-level membership.