IMPACT

Three Things To Do If You Think You Have Been Hacked

In one of the biggest data breaches in South African history, more than 30 million South Africans could have had their sensitive data sold to web hackers.

19/10/2017 14:53 SAST | Updated 19/10/2017 14:53 SAST
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In one of the biggest data breaches in South African history, more than 30 million South Africans could have had their sensitive data sold on the internet to web hackers.

Read: Have You Been Hacked?

The website Have I Been Pwned allows you to punch in your email address and check, within seconds, if your account is one of the millions who has been affected.

Here are three other alternatives you can take if you think you have been hacked, according to Popular Science.

Rafe Swan

1. Raise the red flag

Being hacked can feel like a personal attack, and if you suspect that your online identity may have been breached, you should raise the alarm.

Big tech giants such as Google, Apple and Microsoft don't want impostors to take over your online identities, so they'll try their best to restore your access.

For Google, report hacks here, for Apple here, and for Microsoft here. You can also google "Report Gmail hack," and it should reveal the right place to explain your problem.

2. Change your password

If you ever suspect any suspicious activity on your online accounts, go the safe route and change your password to boot out any unwelcome visitors.

If you have been using one password to access multiple accounts, change the password on your other accounts as well.

It is also worth avoiding using passwords such as '123456' and 'password', as these are common passwords used in the digital sphere.

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Look at your personal details, review any third-party apps connected to your account and check your security questions and answers and your backup email addresses and/or phone numbers.

Speaking of other accounts, were your credit cards, bank accounts or other financial apps connected to the compromised service? In this case, review your statements. If your hacker spent any of your money, you should try to claim back the cash as soon as possible — contact your bank directly and ask how to do this.

3. Security checks

Having recovered from a hacking attempt, you'll want to protect against any future ones. Activate the security features designed to prevent attacks.

One of the most helpful measures is turning on two-step verification, where logging in requires a code sent to your phone, on top of the standard username and password.

In fact, even if only one account becomes compromised, you should consider all your main services breached. Carry out a thorough security audit on all of them, working through all the steps