The term hacking refers to any technical effort to manipulate computer network connections and connected systems for the purpose of computer sabotage, theft or other criminal activity. In today’s world of multiple interconnected electronic devices hacking can occur through your mobile phone and tablet as well as your desktop or laptop computer.
No matter how many security measures you take, there is always a chance you will be hacked. Just like driving a vehicle, you can always be as safe as possible, but accidents happen. Think of it in terms of medical diagnoses, if you detect the “hack” early, you will be able to minimize the damage the “Hacker” can do.
Warning Signs That You Have Been Hacked
- Your mobile phone, tablet or computer begins to function differently demonstrating behaviors such as:
- Opening random websites
- Running programs you never installed
- Your anti-virus detects infected files
- Updates are failing or crashing
- Your device (computer, phone or tablet) begins to “crash” for unknown reasons
- You can no longer log into accounts
- Your contact list notifies you that they are receiving spam from you
- Money is missing from your bank account
- Unauthorized purchases appear on your accounts
- And numerous other maladies
If you are experiencing activities such as these on your devices, take action immediately. The sooner you can address the situation the less time the hacker will have to steal or do damage to your reputation.
Six Steps to Take
If you think your computer has been hacked:
- Change your password immediately.
- Review settings of account to make sure nothing has been changed or set up by the hacker that could compromise the security of your accounts. Look to ensure your privacy, firewall and security settings are set as you prefer.
- Change all passwords that may have had same password as the account compromised. (Do not use same password for multiple accounts)
- Contact anyone that may need to fix or change anything for you. (Ex. Contacting a bank if your mobile banking was hacked.)
- For advanced users:
- Perform a full system scans of anti-virus and malware.
- Perform a “full-factory restore” if the virus/hack is stopping security/anti-virus and malware scans from functioning or, if you are unable to restore proper function after an anti-virus or malware scan.
- If you are not knowledgeable in performing these functions, take the device to the technical support team if it is an employer owned device or at the place you purchased the device.
- Finally, remember to contact companies that may be impacted such as:
- Banks to determine if money has been stolen from your account
- Credit bureau to determine if your credit score has changed
- Credit card companies including retail stores to determine if un-authorized purchases have been made
- Any other company where information may have been compromised.
As always, when in doubt, check it out. A Marquette Savings Bank representative is always ready to answer any question you may have.