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What to do when you've been hacked

Understand that, our government knows all that exists to know about you. Other governments also do. Forgot your password for email? Just ask FSB! But security agencies do not use this data for simple criminal attacks. A criminal hacking team that accesses your personal information usually tries to make money for its unauthorized access as accurately as possible, and as quickly as possible, preferably before you hear about it, such as when a crime like Equifax hack went public. What can you do when you realize you've been hacked?

How will you know?

When a big hack occurs, the news goes wild. You can check the website of the affected service to see if you were affected, but you may as well assume that you were. The only upside is that you're a million, so the hackers can never get around to touch your tasks. And do not forget that your anti-virus protection provides protection against a security breach that occurs on a remote server.

Other exposures are not so easy to detect. Your first indication that an attacker has compromised your credit card may be unexpected items on your invoice. Always read credit card bills and be sure to find out what each line means ̵

1; even the small ones. Short thieves will sometimes make some small purchases, to make sure the card is OK before making a big purchase. You can use a personal financial service, such as Mint.com, to keep track of all your credit card transactions from one place.

If you are lucky, your bank detects fraudulent activity, rejects fees, and issues a new card. Of course, it is a pain, since all the automatic payments you have configured will need the new number. But it's better than letting hackers buy a Caribbean holiday with your credit.

Scammers can use a compromised email account to send spam, or send targeted email fraud to your contacts. Your first clue can be worrying phone calls from friends asking if you're really stuck in an airport in Paris without cash or annoying messages from the "you" have spammed.

An identity thief can also use your personal information to open credit accounts, accounts you do not know anything about. You can only find out when a trader hits the door at your request to open a new credit line yourself. In the past, I have recommended using AnnualCreditReport.com to request a free report from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion once a year and spread the request every four months. After the last violation, I can not recommend that I have anything to do with Equifax. It is not yet clear how Equifax will pay for our negligence. I can only hope that the other two services will tighten down and tighten their security.

These days PCMag is bullish on Credit Karma the service, which automatically takes your credit from TransUnion and Equifax (unfortunately) as often as once a week to keep track of your credit. These are "soft" features that do not affect your credit, too many "hard" moves, the kind a company makes when applying for more credit.

There are credit monitoring services that are not associated with Big Tre. Both LastPass and Dashlane offer monitoring as a bonus, for example, check if your card numbers appear on Dark Web. Of course, you must provide them with your credit card number, but you already trust them to keep your passwords secure.

What's happening now?

Credit card compromise may be the easiest hitch to weather. You are not responsible for the fraudulent fees, and once the bank has issued a new card, the problem is solved.

Retrieving control over a hacked email account may be harder. You must contact your email provider and prove that you are the true account holder. If the hacker changes your password, you can of course not use your regular email to contact the supplier. It's important to have more than one email address and make each other the other contact address of the other.

Did you use your email address as username on other websites? It's really a common practice. However, if you also used the same password as you used for the hacked email account, these accounts are also compromised.

Even if you did not use the same password, you may still be in trouble. Think of this. If you forget a website password, what are you doing? Right-click to get a password reset link that is sent to your email address. A smart hacker who has control over your email account will quickly search your other accounts, social media, maybe or worse, shopping and bank accounts.

After recovering from a transfer of an email account, you should definitely visit each site associated with that email address and change your password. A password manager will be very helpful here.

Identity Theft Help

Full identity theft may be a nightmare. Victims can spend thousands of dollars in weeks and months trying to get their online identities and live back in their control. Federal Trade Commission offers an excellent counseling website with complete details on how to proceed. For example, the site suggests that you order your credit reports so that you can see what happened and make an official identity theft report with the FTC.

The website continues to provide absolutely everything you need to do in step-by-step mode. It contains checklists to ensure that you did not miss any information, as well as proofs and forms. You will not be wrong to trust this useful resource.

Will not be hacked again!

How can you make sure you are not chopped or not hacked again? Since EquiFax hack, you've probably seen many articles asking you to freeze your credit, create a fraud detection (which means you have to go through additional verification steps to open a new account) and so on. Before making such changes in your credit life, stop and consider if you are willing to make them permanent. After all, the next big crime is just around the corner; in fact, it may have already happened. The actual violation of the Equifax case occurred a few months ago.

When it comes to credit cards, you can do nothing but avoid shopping at shady retailers, real or online. Most brick-and-mortar stores now accept carded credit cards (even if there are still detentions). Chipped cards securely ensure personal transactions, but they can not help with card-unavailable online transactions.

Mobile-based payment systems like Apple Pay and Android Pay are actually safer than physical credit cards. Each transaction uses a unique number, so hackers get nothing by stealing existing transaction data. And you can also use the mobile payment system for online purchases. Just protect your mobile device with a fingerprint or strong password, and always keep it with you.

Badly secured websites can reveal your email address and password for hackers, but with a bad password, you leave your account open for a simple brute-force attack. Use a strong password for your email account and another strong password for all other accounts or secure websites. Yes, you need a password manager, but you do not have to pay. The best free password managers are quite effective.

On some websites, you can request password reset by answering some simple security issues. The problem is that in most cases the bad guys can answer the questions for a few seconds on Google. If you can define your own security issues, do and choose strong questions-they only you can answer. If you have to choose between lama questions like your mother's maiden name, do not use a true answer. Choose a fake answer that you remember. And do not use the same question / answer pairs on multiple websites.

To protect against full-scale identity theft, there are some things you can do. Never fill in any information on web forms beyond what is absolutely necessary. If necessary but not relevant, you make as your street address on a website that does not send things to you. Get a cheap shredder for paper bills and statements. Review all statements and take advantage of your free credit reports. And support all your efforts by installing a powerful security package.

Yes, it's a little effort, some vigilance. But it's much less than the work you would have to pay to recover if hackers managed to steal your identity.

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