You’ve been hacked! Here’s What You can do to Prevent that Happening.
A report that Russian Criminals stole in the region of 1.2 Billion Internet Usernames and Passwords this week caused some panic. There is a good chance that you could have been affected but don’t get flustered, here’s what you can do.
Firstly stay calm. The gang isn’t interested in stealing you bank details they will instead most probably use the information to make money by sending out spam for bogus products like weight loss pills or fitness regimes.
What you need to do is be on your guard. If you see odd messages being sent from your e-mail or social media account you could have been effected. Follow these steps to protect yourself.
Change Your Passwords And Make Them Strong
When it comes to important services such as e-mail, social media and banking you should make sure your using strong passwords and as a general rule use different passwords for each accounts and change them every 6 months. For more info see our blog on creating strong passwords.
Think About What You Store Electronically
Never e-mail important info like your driver license or social security number because it can stay in the archives. Ensure that old messages with bank account details and credit card numbers are erased. If you really need them perhaps for your tax returns then print them out first, keep the hard copy in a safe locked place and then erase the emails.
Have Protection, And Use It
Use antivirus software and be sure to keep it updated and run scans regularly. All good virus software lets you schedule scans and auto updates to be sure to check these settings and enable them.
If possible, especially for banking, make sure you use two factor authentication, this is a system that requires a onetime unique authentication code usually generated by a mobile device or sent to your phone. Also ensure you’re using security encrypted websites. Look for sites that start HTTPS not just plain old HTTP. That extra S is for security.
Consider A Throw Away Address
You can create and use a free e-mail account for subscribing to different services. Most news sites or mail threads require you to subscribe up using an e-mail account. You can create a throw away e-mail address for these sites alone; if your details are stolen your main e-mail address will not be compromised.
Don’t accept files or download media from sites you don’t trust or from unfamiliar sources no matter what they say they are for. If in doubt leave it out. Check where the address or link will lead you to before clicking it. Don’t open e-mails from unknown sources or respond to emails offering access to free money, lottery prizes, Viagra etc.
We can’t guarantee that following these tips will keep you 100% safe but they will help you to be a lot safer on the internet and minimize the risk you expose yourself to.