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Here are some sure signs you've been hacked

  1. You observe unexpected software installs

  2. Your mouse moves between programs and makes selections

  3. Antimalware, Task Manager or Registry Editor is disabled

  4. Your online account is missing money

  5. You’ve been notified by someone you’ve been hacked

  6. Confidential data has been leaked

  7. Your credentials are in a password dump

  8. You observe strange network traffic patterns

  9. You get a ransomware message

  10. You get a fake antivirus message

  11. You have unwanted browser toolbars

  12. Your internet searches are redirected

  13. You see frequent, random popups

  14. Your online password isn’t working

  15. Your friends receive social media invitations from you that you didn’t send

What To Do If You Are Part of a Data Breach

It's important to understand that a data breach does not necessarily mean that you will become a victim of identity theft.  If you are a victim of a data breach, you are at greater risk of identity theft, but until your information is misused, you are not considered to be an identity theft victim. The tips below are intended to help you mitigate that risk.

  1. Validate there has been an actual breach.  Many scams start with an email informing you your data has been breached, but its really scammers posing as a company trying to obtain more of your personal information, or worse.  

  2. Determine what data was compromised.  Names, addresses, emails, etc. may be valuable to marketers, but they don't propose much of a risk.  Credit card information, online-account passwords, social security numbers, financial account information, etc. pose a much greater risk.

  3. ​Change the Passwords to the Affected Accounts.  If you used the same password for other accounts, you'll need to change them as well.

  4.  Contact relevant financial institutions.  Depending on the severity of the breach and the types of accounts compromised, it may be wise to close out the account/card and open a new one.  Otherwise, carefully monitor all of your account's transactions and if you question any activity, immediately call your financial institution.​

  5. If your social security number was compromised make sure to request a credit report.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that each of the three major consumer credit bureaus provide you with a free copy of their report every 12 months.  (Tip: Request a credit report from a different credit bureau every four months to monitor your accounts on an on-going basis)

     

Additional Tips:

  • If the company responsible for exposing your information offers you free credit monitoring, take advantage of it.

  • Consider freezing your credit for your accounts with the three major credit report agencies. This makes it more difficult for someone to open a new account in your name.

  • File your taxes early, before the scanner has an opportunity to file a fraudulent tax return.