Do you know what to do if your account is swept up in a cyber attack? In the last year many popular sites, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Evernote, have been attacked and consumer information stolen. What can you do to protect yourself?
Cybercriminals attack big companies for the big prize: user account information. With email addresses and passwords in hand, they go on an account-cracking spree across the Internet, hoping that some of the users in their massive heist are using the same weak passwords on multiple sites. Itʼs likely some of your accounts have already been swept up in data breaches like this.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the possibility of being hacked. Here are my recommendations plus related Tech Tips articles to help you with each step.
- Use strong passwords that are unique on every site
- Change passwords frequently
- Keep your antivirus current
- Install software updates
- Secure your mobile devices with passcodes and antivirus software
- Don’t use unsecured WiFi hotspots
- Don’t click links in email (type the site in your browser instead)
If your account has been hacked, you need to reset it. Here is information on account security and resetting hijacked accounts for some of the major sites:
- Facebook: Hacked Accounts
- LinkedIn Account Help
- Twitter: My Account Has Been Compromised
- Yahoo! Account Has Been Hacked
- How To Stop Your Gmail Account Being Hacked (Naked Security)
And here is information on the recent breaches I mentioned:
- 6.5 Million LinkedIn Passwords Posted Online After Apparent Hack (PC Magazine)
- Twitter Hacked, 250,000 User Accounts Compromised (AllThingsD)
- Evernote Hack Exposes User Data, Forces Extensive Password Resets (Wired)
For the latest news on data breaches (something a little more reliable than mass media articles), try these IT security sites.
Do you have questions about cyber attacks and hijacked accounts? Ask in the comments!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net