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Take these steps if you’ve been hacked

If you notice changes to your password or receive suspicious login alerts, it’s possible your account has been hacked. If you’re locked out and can’t recover it, you might have been hacked. Here are immediate steps to take if your online account has been compromised.

Notify Friends, Family, and Followers

Inform your contacts that your account has been hacked for these reasons:

  1. Hackers often aim for financial gain and may try to scam your contacts. Hackers can control multiple accounts through social engineering, creating a loop where they continuously hack new victims.
  2. Hackers might post sensitive or inappropriate content from your profile, which can damage your reputation, especially if you hold significant positions.

Here is a page you can share with your contacts to inform them and help prevent them from falling victim to the same hacker.

Never Pay Ransom

If hackers demand ransom, do not pay. Paying supports their illegal activities, allowing them to continue harming others.

Respond to Suspicious Logins

Most services alert you about suspicious logins. If you notice an unfamiliar login, immediately:

  1. Change your password.
  2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).
  3. Increase your account’s security settings.

Can’t Log In?

If you’re locked out, follow the service’s hacked account protocol. Use email alerts to reset recent changes, or contact customer support for assistance.

Steps to Take After Being Hacked

If you’re sure you’ve been hacked, follow these steps:

  1. Change passwords on all accessible accounts immediately.
  2. Secure your primary email account by changing the password, setting a recovery email, and enabling 2FA.
  3. Inform your contacts to prevent them from being scammed by hackers pretending to be you.
  4. Determine which accounts were hacked and what information was compromised.
  5. Avoid creating new profiles with the same credentials, as this complicates account recovery.

After securing your other accounts, attempt to recover the hacked ones. Look for security alerts in your emails to reset recent changes.

Try resetting your password using email and SMS options. If that fails, visit the service’s help portal or contact support directly.

In severe cases, consider filing a police report and involving local law enforcement.

Featured image by TY Lim from Shutterstock.com.