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Here Is What You Need to Do If Your Online Account Is Hacked

online account hacked
Written by Pankaj Rawat

With so much of advanced spy technology for cell phones introduced and hackers spreading their wings all over the world, your online account can get hacked anytime. If this has happened to you, don’t just sit there and cry helplessly.You will be glad to hear that now it’s possible to take action against this digital vandalism. If you have found yourself locked out of your own account, there are a few routes available to get back in. You can even restore your access and limit the damage that a hacker can do.

Online Account Is Hacked: Now What To do

Hackers don’t really need physical access to your devices to do the work. A spy technology for cell phones is enough to break in. Whether it is your email, social media accounts or even credit card information, everything is there on your phone, right? What more does a hacker need? But the question is how can you be sure somebody has hacked into your account? If your password isn’t working, that does not necessarily mean your account is hacked. If you weren’t able to get into let’s say your Facebook account on your computer, try logging in from another device. This will tell you whether or not you have actually lost access to your account. Your emailing service will also send you messages about suspicious activity if someone logs into your account from another device or location.

Once you are sure one of your important accounts or even your phone has been hacked, take a deep breath and follow this guide:

Report to the Service Provider

Tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Apple don’t want the online identities of their clients to be compromised and so, they are ready to help their clients restore their account access. If you suspect that your account has been hacked, the first thing on your to-do list should be to inform your company/service provider. If you don’t know how just do a quick Google search. Make sure the page you are visiting is the official. Also, make sure the URL of the page is real. You are supposed to report the issue. The company will give you instructions to get back your service. You might have to confirm your phone number, email address or answer the security questions to prove that you are the real owner of the account. Chances are you will get access to your account without waiting.

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Change the password(s) to your account(s)

Once you have successfully gained access to your account, that doesn’t mean everything is good now. Don’t drop your guards, in fact, you need even stronger ones. Start by changing the password to your account immediately. It should be a completely new one. Don’t use the past passwords. If you have the same password for multiple other accounts, change all of them. At this point, you cannot take the risk.
Most of the online services let you see all the devices from which you have logged in. So, log out of all sessions. It is recommended to review your account settings just to be sure nothing has changed. Also check your security questions, backup email, and phone number. If your bank account or credit card information was linked or even saved in your account, make sure you review your financial statements for any suspicious activity. If a hacker has spent your money, call your bank and claim the cash as soon as possible.

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Run Security Checks

It’s great that you have recovered from the hacking attempt. Now you should make a plan to protect yourself from them in future. The best thing you can do is activate the security features designed to prevent our accounts and devices from being attacked. For example, if a hacker has used the spy technology for cell phones to get access to your personal data, the best thing you can do is remotely lock your device or erase all the data stored on your phone. If it is an iPhone, then by using Find my iPhone you can turn on the ‘Lost Mode’ on your phone, lock it remotely and disable your credit/debit cards to Apple Pay. You can also erase the data on your phone. Similarly, you can set two-step verification on your accounts that ask you to enter a code which is sent to your phone.

The thing next on your list should be to figure out how the hacker actually managed to access the account. I agree, this is not going to be possible in all cases but you can always give it a shot. Make sure you update the OS on your system. Check for any updates for your antivirus program. If OS updates are available on your phone, run them too. If the hacker left any malware on your device, this should get rid of it.

To be honest, even if one of your accounts is compromised, you should be careful. Arrange some time to carry out a complete security audit on all your accounts. It is recommended to change the passwords to all your accounts because somehow, they are all linked. One account’s backup email may be another account and so on. This will keep all other accounts from being hacked.

About the author

Pankaj Rawat

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