5 Steps to take after getting Hacked!
Assess the damage
We know it can be overwhelming to find out your accounts have been hacked. Before taking rash actions, take a step back and determine how much damage has been done. Unfortunately, one hacked password can often be the gateway to multiple hacked accounts and even result in identity theft. This is especially true if you use the same password for several accounts or the hacked account or device for password recovery on other accounts. Review your credit card and account statements for any suspicious activity. Also, try accessing your email, social media accounts, and mobile devices to see if anything has been compromised.
Change your passwords!
Immediately change your password for all your accounts, not just the ones compromised. Better to be safe than sorry! Remember to choose strong, unique passwords for every account. A strong password uses a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols; varies the use of capital letters; and does not use a piece of personal information that can easily be scraped off the internet, such as your date of birth or home address. If you think a password service would help you keep track of your new passwords, try LastPass or StickyPassword to make this easier on you!
Protect your credit
Now that you have assessed the damage and changed all your credentials, it’s time for damage control. First, dispute any fraudulent charges on your compromised account(s). If necessary, have the accounts locked or even deleted. Next, place a fraud alert on your credit reports. This serves as a red flag to potential lenders and creditors. Consider a credit freeze as well. This blocks potential lenders from accessing your credit report, making it impossible for the hacker to open new credit accounts in your name.
Alert the authorities
If you think there is a case for identity theft, alert the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about a possible or confirmed identity theft at indentitytheft.gov. You’ll also find a detailed recovery plan on the site to help you repair your credit and reclaim your identity. You can also consider alerting your local law enforcement agency about the breach. Since hacking is typically done remotely, they can be on alert if the hacker decides to assume your identity and use your credit cards in stores near your hometown. If you haven’t done so, don’t forget to contact your credit union to know what has happened. Whether it is a credit card that’s been stolen or a checking account that’s been breached, we’ll do all we can to protect your accounts.
Proceed with caution
Phew, now that you’ve taken all the necessary steps toward damage control and mitigation, you can start thinking about the future. It’s important to keep a close eye on your accounts for the next few months. Look out for any suspicious activity on all accounts, including charges you don’t recall making, large withdrawals of cash, and even new loans being opened in your name. If you find any fraudulent activity, be sure to let the account holders know. If you’ve opted to go with a credit freeze, it will generally lapse after 90 days. If your accounts are determined to be safe, considering opening new lines of credit to jump-start the recovery of your credit health. Contact Coastline FCU to get started on this! If the hacker went full throttle and stole your identity, it’s best to follow the recovery plan outlined by the FTC. This plan may include replacing your Social Security number, driver's license, and more.