No matter how careful you are about security, there’s always a chance you will get hacked. That’s why you need to put a plan in place NOW to protect yourself and your CLIENTS, so the damage is minimized.

Signs you’ve been hacked.

  • You get a ransomware message
  • You get a fake antivirus message
  • You have unwanted browser toolbars
  • Your internet searches are redirected
  • You see random popups
  • Your friends get social media invites from you that you didn’t send
  • Your online password isn’t working
  • You notice unexpected software installs
  • Your mouse moves between programs and makes selections that you’re not doing
  • Antimalware, Task Manager or Registry Editor are disabled
  • Your online bank accounts are missing money
  • You’ve been notified by someone you’ve been hacked
  • Confidential data has been leaked
  • Your credentials are in a password dump on the Dark Web

And for the larger businesses,

  • You observe strange network traffic patterns

What should you do when you find out you’ve been hacked? 

First, contact HBBTech IMMEDIATELY. The faster we can address the attack – and determine the extent of the data, applications and machines compromised – the better your chances are of preventing much bigger problems. We’ll go to work on containing the attack and conducting a full scan of your network.

Based on what we discover, we may advise you to contact the local FBI office and your attorney. Your legal responsibilities depend greatly on the type of data accessed. For example, if medical, financial or other confidential records were stolen or accessed, you are legally responsible for notifying those individuals that their data was compromised (your attorney can best direct you on what you need to do and how to do it). Do you know your State’s Breach Notification Law?

Credit card compromise may be the easiest hack to weather. You're not responsible for the fraudulent charges, and once the bank has issued a new card the problem is solved.

Regaining control of a hacked email account can be tougher. You'll have to contact the email provider and prove that you're the true account holder. Of course, if the hacker changes your password, you can't use your regular email to contact the provider. It's important to have more than one email address and make each the alternate contact address for the other.

Full-on identity theft can be a nightmare. Victims can spend thousands of dollars over weeks and months trying to get their online identities and lives back in their control. The Federal Trade Commission offers an excellent advice site with full details on how you can proceed. Among other things, the site suggests that you order your credit reports, so you can see what's happened, and make an official identity-theft report with the FTC.

How can you make sure you don't get hacked, or don't get hacked again?

As far as credit cards go, there's not much you can do, other than avoid shopping at shady retailers, real-world or online. Mobile-based payment systems like Apple Pay and Google Pay are actually more secure than physical credit cards.

Use a strong password for your email account, and a different strong password for every other account or secure site.

As for protecting against full-scale identity theft, never fill out any information on web forms beyond what is absolutely required. If it's required but not relevant, like your street address on a site that doesn't ship things to you, just make something up, but record it somewhere – in case you need it later.

And, get an inexpensive shredder for paper bills and statements. Review all statements and make use of your free credit reports.

Support all your security efforts by installing a powerful security solution like HBBTech’s multi-layer cyber security protection.

If you want help in figuring out if you’re adequately protected, call us at 636-542-8653, or take your chances.

That’s it for Tip #17

Next week’s Tip will be “3 Rules To Keeping Your Data Safe In The Cloud”

Remember – It ain’t personal...  it's just business.         ‘Til next time.