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Contributed by Kris Monroe on 10/08/2012
For week two of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) we’ll be giving you tips on Protecting your Personal Information.
If your account has been compromised or hacked, here are ways to regain control.
Hacking of an account generally refers to the compromise and/or unauthorized use of an account or a server. The telltale signs are seemingly obvious: messages that you don’t remember sending, photos you didn’t upload, or your settings suddenly being different one day. The cause is not always the same – you may have left your account logged on another machine, someone may have stolen your password, or you could have left your machine on and unlocked. Regardless of the cause or the effect, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the effects of being hacked.
First, notify all contacts not to click on any “FREE IFONE CLIK HERE” links sent from you while the situation is remedied, as the hacker may be able to spread his/her devices further to steal info from your friends. The other precaution to take immediately is to change all passwords related to the password of that account; because it is usually unknown how your account was breached, it is better to be safer than sorry and protect against the hacker having access to more of your accounts. Another additional step that is recommended but not necessary is to run a malware scan on your machine; while it is less likely, it is possible that your account could have been compromised via malware.
If the problem persists and the intruder access continues, contact all relevant companies and find out what services they offer to help regain control of your account. A list of some more popular companies’ support services can be found at http://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/keep-a-clean-machine/hacked-accounts. The most drastic, but sometimes necessary option is to delete your account on the compromised sites. Keep reading our cybersecurity tips of the day for more help with identity theft and password creation!
Visit http://www.ithaca.edu/its/general/security/computer/ for more information!
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