10 Things to Do After You’ve Been Hacked

In our recent article, we talked about how to secure your data and why it’s important. Anyway, there are chances that you may not always be lucky and someday some account of yours gets hacked. So today we will talk about what to do after you have been hacked. This article will serve as a first aid for you in such case.

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YOU HAVE BEEN HACKED!!! What if, one day you see this message written in an artistic way (like above :P) on your website that is scoring thousands of views every day; that website is a source of great earning for you for the traffic it generates. I am sure your heart will skip a beat even if someone pranked you with this message. As most say 100% security is a myth and no organization on earth has ever claimed that they are unhackable. No matter how expensive software you buy or whoever is the Chief Information Security Officer of xyz bank, they will always secure that last 1% for themselves, by guaranteeing only 99% security.

So the question here is what will you do once you have been hacked, yes, you read that right, of course just tell me a reason why can’t you get hacked. You use email, social media, blog, you even sync your data to cloud, you use Internet banking, pay bills online, chat online and what not. So always be mentally prepared that you may also get hacked and God forbid if this happens, here are the 10 things that will serve you as a first aid just like the first aid that you apply to your physical wound.

1. Do not panic:
Be mature. Understand that getting hacked is not an end of the world. Many large corporations, banks, universities have been hacked in the past and many companies will be hacked in future. It’s all about who learns from mistakes, so just try to find out ways for what to do next.

2. Inform your customers/colleagues:
Imagine a situation where your Facebook account/page has been hacked and the evil hacker starts posting explicit content on your timeline, think about how your reputation is going to be hurt. In such cases, the best way is to simply broadcast a message to your colleagues/customers, friends and even parents that your account has been hacked without wasting time. I am sure they will understand your concern and stop being surprised at those unusual posts coming up.

For example, when 000webhost.com was hacked, all the customers got an email from the CEO of the company to inform them about the hack, apologized to them and advised to reset their passwords.

things to do after you have been hacked- 000webhost email

3. Try to get back your account:
All the major websites always have a backup option and are always ready to help you in diverse conditions, so you can try resetting your password by recovery mobile number and email id that you have given while creating your account. You would probably still have a chance to reset it.

Related: Cyber Security: 15 Simple Steps To Protect Your Self Against Cyber Attacks

4. De-link apps from your google account:
Consider that your Gmail account got hacked. If you are an android phone user, you will be definitely having a google account and you have also been using that account to sign in to various apps. Now take an example of a digital wallet app in which you keep some money for recharges and bill payments, and you have used a google account to sign into that app, you are obviously going to lose all your money that you have in that digital wallet. So the best way is to delink all the apps linked to your google account. You can do it easily by logging into your Gmail account from any browser.

5. Inform the concerned organization:
If you are using service or product of an organization, inform them about the tragedy and they will definitely help you to find a way out. For example, if your internet banking gets hacked, then inform your bank as soon as possible to get your account blocked immediately so that the hacker can not perform any transactions.

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6. Change passwords on all websites:
You should immediately change passwords on other websites also; especially if you use same passwords on multiple websites, as, if it’s your bad day then the hacker may try to brute-force your other accounts too.

 

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7. Scan your devices:
You should check all your digital devices for malware with a good anti-virus, as malwares are often the threats behind stealing your passwords. Hackers often use malwares to spy and collect information about your daily activities or to launch a phishing attack on your computer. So an anti-virus scan is highly recommended.

8. Try to recover your lost data:
There are high chances that you have lost your important data after getting hacked or your data might have been copied by an unauthorized person. At such time, only you are the right person to think what can be done for data loss or copyright breach so think calmly what can be done for that.

9. Secure your router:
If you use a Wi-Fi router at home or work, there are chances that you were hacked due to your carelessness towards securing your router. So check if you have changed your default password and also make sure no one else than you is using your connection.

10. Take legal action:
If you have a really serious loss in your business due to this unavoidable evil, or any other kind of major unbearable loss, then I highly recommend you to take a legal action and get the cyber cell working to find that hacker. There are some awesome cyber laws against such hackers and once caught, they will have to pay a heavy penalty and suffer imprisonment and even compensate your losses.

So as I said in my first point, getting hacked is not an end of the world. You have the law standing by you and finding the criminal is not impossible with the help of a forensic team. So this marks the end of the article and I hope any need to take all the above steps doesn’t arise in your life, so stay secure in advance! If anyone needs help, don’t forget to share this tips with them. Thank you.

 

About Vivek Desai

Technical writer, Information Systems auditor, Cyberspace Explorer, Technology Enthusiast. Pursuing M.tech in Cyber Security & Incident Response at Institute of Forensic Sciences, Gandhinagar

Vivek Desai

Technical writer, Information Systems auditor, Cyberspace Explorer, Technology Enthusiast. Pursuing M.tech in Cyber Security & Incident Response at Institute of Forensic Sciences, Gandhinagar