Has your system been hacked?
Unfortunately, it happens.
Hackers are motivated beings.
Once you’ve been targeted, hackers will zone in on your system’s vulnerabilities.
We want to help you get back on track. To do this, you’ll need to increase your cybersecurity. After all, you don’t want this to happen again. To help you, we’ve put together 10 tips on what to do after you’ve been hacked.
Clues That You’ve Been Hacked
Received any strange messages?
These could be ransomware or imposter antivirus software. These probably look legitimate. After all, they are created by tech-savvy hackers who know how to spoof legitimate sites.
Have social media messages been sent from your account, but not by you?
An increased number of popups and toolbars appearing are also signs that your data is at risk.
Third parties often notify their users of evidence of hacking as well.
Have you noticed any out-of-the-ordinary behavior from your computing system?
There is a good chance you are vulnerable to attacks or that you’ve unfortunately already been hacked.
Thankfully, it’s not the end of the road. You’ve got to beef up your security, and we have 10 tips to help you get your system back in order.
You Just Got Hacked! 10 Tips On What To Do Next
Now that you’ve been hacked, it’s time to educate yourself. More stringent measures need to be taken to keep your data secure. Read our 10 tips on what to do after you’ve been hacked.
1. Alert Your Financial Institutions
No one wants to log in to their online bank account to see that money is missing. But if this happened to you, call the bank right away.
Depending on what information was compromised, your bank may want to replace your credit card or possibly even close and reopen your account.
Make sure you change your login and password. Otherwise, the hackers could slip right back in.
The good thing is that banks have protocols for this. Act fast. The best chance of recovering your missing money is by contacting your bank within 24 hours.
2. Exploit Insecure Ports
Pinpointing vulnerabilities in your system is a critical element. You want to stop intruders from accessing your system and your data.
How do you do this?
For starters, review information that has been leaked. How was this accessed?
It could have been from a multitude of sources. Or it could be pinpointed down to that one time you checked your email using free Wi-Fi at a coffee shop.
Whatever the initial cause, we understand that you want to move forward and put this behind you. To do this successfully, you will need to reflect on your past online behaviors and make adjustments.
3. Restore Backups
Whether you have your data stored on the cloud or in-house servers, now you need to restore the backup.
Restoring from backups can be tricky. If your data has already been breached, then the last thing you want is to delete your system backup accidentally.
We suggest using cloud IT managed services to start. With these types of services, your data is stored on secure servers that are regularly updated with the latest security defense.
Cloud IT managed services are also maintained by a team of computer experts. Remove the fear of faulty backups and accidentally erasing all data by outsourcing IT services. At BITS, we view our clients’ security as a priority and will back up your company’s information securely.
4. Schedule Regular Antivirus Scans
You’ve invested your hard-earned money into antivirus software.
But if you’re not regularly running scans and updates, what’s the point?
New viruses emerge daily. If the software isn’t being updated, then it isn’t learning about any new viruses. Viruses could be damaging your data and threatening your privacy.
That’s why unless you are a cybersecurity expert, it is a good idea to hire an IT service company to ensure that your antivirus software is being maintained.
If you’ve been attempting to save money by handling it on your own, being hacked will illuminate the importance of having this handled by experts.
5. Install Anti-Spyware Software
Anti-spyware and antivirus software are equally important. The difference between the two is that spyware is used to spy on its victims.
Hackers could be collecting sensitive data, impersonating you, or even tracking you and your habits. The work doesn’t end with installation. Make sure your anti-spyware software is working to the best of its ability by scheduling regular updates and scans.
6. Stop Logging In As Admin
Avoid logging in under the admin account for daily use.
Of course, there are times you’ll need to access the admin account. For tasks such as updating or installing software, you may need to log in as an admin.
If your data is compromised while on the admin account, hackers would be able to install, change, and track you and your information.
Imagine being hacked. All of a sudden, everything on your computer is in a foreign language. Navigating steps in a language you don’t comprehend could be impossible. Don’t give hackers this opportunity.
If you only have an admin account on your device, create a second account. It’s simple and usually at no additional cost.
Move your professional, personal, and other daily computing to the secondary account. And make that a habit from here on out.
7. Make Logging Out And Turning Off A Routine
If you’ve been working from home throughout the pandemic, you’ve probably spent a lot of time on the computer.
The computer we use all day for work can often become the control center for movie night. Then it becomes the online shopping hub for groceries and everything else. You might wonder when you have the opportunity even to turn it off.
Celebrate the end of a successful workday with a routine of logging off and shutting down your apps, programs, websites, and finally, the entire computer.
While it’s best to use a separate device for personal purposes – if you decide to stream a movie from your laptop, make sure you’ve logged out of all the other sites. When you’re not using a website, log out of it. Avoid selecting settings options where you are always logged in.
When you’re not using a computer, or really any device, turn it off.
Doing so is especially important for websites that are associated with your employer, assuming that you work from home at any point during your employment.
8. Change All Passwords
Stolen passwords are the leading contributor to data breaches. Hackers have tools to break short and weak passwords easily. Don’t make it easy for them!
Regularly changing passwords should already be a routine. If not, your information is vulnerable to hacks.
Choose a password that would be difficult for anyone to guess. Ideally, it should include a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. To keep it hard to guess, avoid using any personal information. Pet names, addresses, and birthdays can all be connected to you.
One of the most overlooked passwords to change is the one used to log into your router. This is different from your Wi-Fi password. You can do this by going to your router settings page (type “192.168.1.1” in your browser) and entering the default username and password. Then change the password under settings.
9. Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Not only should you make each password unique and impersonal, but you should also turn on two-factor authentication for every account.
Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security. Enabling makes your information more secure by making it more difficult for anyone other than you to be able to log into your accounts on the Internet.
When two-factor authentication is enabled, hackers can’t access your information with a password alone. Steps are taken to make sure it is you on a trusted device logging into your accounts.
10. Turn Off Auto-Fill
When visiting new websites or creating accounts, we are often asked to fill in our information. Name, email, zip code, passwords, and more can be saved to make filling out personal information as easy as the click of a button.
As convenient as this can be, it is unfortunately not worth the risk.
Advertising firms have been able to access information stored by auto-fill. They do this by creating invisible login forms that your computer is programmed to fill out when auto-fill is on. This data can be used to gather information and increase your targeted ads.
Not only is your information being used without your consent. It is also likely in a data dump somewhere being accessed by hackers.
If you have auto-fill enabled, turn it off and clear your information. In the future, when asked by your devices or websites if you’d like to save your information for easy access next time, decline.
Ready To Put A Stop To Hacks?
If you’ve been hacked, it is imperative that you take steps to safeguard your data now.
And if you’re busy running a business, you probably don’t have the time to educate yourself in all the details enthralled in protecting yourself against hacks. And you likely have other things on your mind aside from being able to pinpoint vulnerable access sites that hackers have already breached.
But the good news is that we are here to help!
Brooks IT Services makes Houston business owners’ jobs easier. We take the stress of IT off your hands and provide the highest quality full-service technology trusted solutions. Contact Brooks It Services today to make sure your systems are secure!