There are many things you can do to protect your data and your devices while enjoying the wonders of the internet. However, what do you do when the worst happens? Your account has been hacked. Now what? Here's what you need to do to stay safe & secure after an account has had a security breach.
1. Change Passwords Immediately
Change your password to something secure immediately. It should be a password you have never used before and have a variety of characters including symbols, numbers, and upper and lower case letters. This will help you to take control of your account and lock out your unauthorized user.
2. Change the Password of Other Accounts
If you have other accounts that use either a) the same password or b) the same email address change the password immediately. Again, ensure your password has never been used before and meets the criteria listed in #1.
3. Run Virus & Malware Scans On Your Device
If the security breach was NOT the result of a third party hacking into the database of your service provider and instead was due to a key logger virus this is especially important. Even if you weren't the victim of a key logger, scan your device regularly for viruses & malware. You can change your passwords to secure new ones, but they will keep getting hacked so long as you have a key logger on your device. If you find out you have a key logger, get rid of it, then change ALL THE PASSWORDS. Yes, all of them, to secure new ones. There's no way of telling which passwords the key logger may have been after.
4. Use 2 Factor Authentication if Available
Many social media networks and other services offer secure, 2 factor authentication. Using this will help keep your account secure even if your password is compromised. Just remember, it's no excuse to not use a secure password!
You might not be able to prevent all cases of account breaches, but you can do your part to ensure your accounts remain safe & secure. For more tips check out our previous articles on account security, and stay safe!