What to do when you think your computer has been compromised (Hacked)
Pionen deliver large scale security change and security transformation projects on behalf of central government and the wider public sector, we do however on occasion receive enquiries from SME business and individuals who think they have had security breaches / security incidents.
Big businesses hit the headlines when they have a security incident or data breach, but smaller firms and individuals are also targeted by the bad guys to commit fraud.
Having your PC, Laptop or email hacked can put your personal information, banking or credit card details in the wrong hands which can be stressful and extremely costly.
By securing your IT equipment, taking steps to be safe online, plus being alert to any odd activity on your computer, email or social media, you can minimise the chances or losing your money and personal information.
If your computer starts behaving oddly, if your email address starts sending out spam, if your Facebook profile displays content that you didn’t post or you spot irregular activity in your bank account or credit card the chances are you have had a security breach (been hacked)
Here are some things you need to do.
Anti-Virus Update / Scan
Check that your anti-virus is updated so that the latest nasties can be identified and run a full computer / system scan to check for malware or similar dodgy things going on.
Check your computer settings
Disable remote access on your computer, check your email settings for things like “auto-forwarding rules” which will keep sending the bad guys copies of your emails and password reset notifications.
Before you change any passwords, run the scan and check for forwarding rules mentioned above, if you don’t do that then key logging malware can capture your new password!!
Change the passwords on the affected account, also change the passwords on other accounts that used the same login information. If you use the same email address and passwords for lots of websites, you need to change them all. Use a different password for every website.
Enable 2 Step Authentication
Most systems, email providers, social media and banking applications have the option of setting up 2 stage authentication, this means you get a text message or communications via another channel to make sure it is actually “You the user” trying to access your account. Get it set up where possible.
Locked out of your accounts?
Sometimes the bad guys may have changed your password effectively locking you out of your own account, try to reset the password. If this is not possible then most of the big tech providers have a process to let you prove you are the rightful owner, using a series of questions about your personal details and activity in the account. Get in touch with them and explain your situation.
Change your wireless router password from the default
Most hackers use your router to access your wireless home network as they almost know all default passwords of a router.
For advice on how to do this please refer to this page from Trend Micro.