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Watching your account being hacked

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Sometimes it happens … yes, your account is subjected to a hacker attack. And you get a firsthand view of what happens next – the password change requests, notifications or text messages about unauthorized attempts to log in to your email account. What can you do to secure yourself if this happens?2

For starters, it’s great if you are receiving such notifications! It means that our posts about how to protect your account correctly were not in vain. However, the fact there was an attempt to compromise your account is disturbing, and triggers multiple trains of thought. And it doesn’t matter if it’s your social media account that is being hacked, or someone is trying to use your e-banking account. In most cases, the cybercriminals use the same approach, with a few subtle differences, so we will describe what typically happens when your social media account is subjected to a hacker attack.

So, one day you start receiving notifications saying that someone is trying to reset the password to your account. You know it’s definitely not you who is doing it. Of course, you can just sit back and do nothing, as many online services suggest – “If you have received this message by mistake, don’t worry …” etc. However, it would be better if you actually log in to your account. But do NOT log in by following any links in the warning message, as it may be a phishing attack from cybercriminals using a fake server. Simply log in to your account from the official sign-in page. The next thing you need to do is to change your password. Yes, it’s best to do this even if the mysterious stalker has failed to brute force it. Try to make your new password harder to crack.

Next, change your notification settings. If you have another phone number, configure your notifications to be sent to it, and confirm it. Also, change the email address associated with the account. It is possible that the cybercriminals already know it and are already trying to compromise it too. Don’t give them the chance.

Also, if you haven’t already experienced being hacked, and if you haven’t yet configured your two-factor authorization, make sure you do so for all the services you are registered with and wherever available. Two-factor authorization is a good way of protecting yourself against the vast majority of attacks on your virtual life and your electronic wallet.The next thing to do is to associate your accounts with specific devices. For example, this feature has been implemented in Facebook: after each attempt to log in to an account from an unregistered location, a notification email is sent to the appropriate user. Similar features exist for Google and many other popular services.

If you see that someone is trying to log in to your banking account, then, as well as all of the above, you should contact the bank’s security service and inform them about what has happened. Then, the professionals will take over: their job will be to track where the requests are coming from, and report them to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

If someone is trying to hack into your account, do not ignore it – always report it to the bank. Other people may also be suffering similar attacks, so your report may help the bank’s security service to act in a timely manner and repel a serious attack.

Last but not least, an important piece of information. Sometimes, cybercriminals are targeting your account to plant a Trojan on your computer or mobile device – this Trojan will secretly watch your activities and intercept your passwords. Make sure you always have security software running on your devices – it will protect you against such threats.

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