What’s The First Thing You Should Do When You Get Hacked?
November 21, 2023, 4 min read
In today’s linked world, every one of us is susceptible to the danger posed by cyberattacks. The risk of hacking your computer or network is significant, regardless of whether you run a business or are an individual. When it does occur, there is a potential for immediate confusion and fear to set in. Having said that, the initial step you take after identifying a breach is an extremely important one. In the following piece, we will walk you through the initial steps you need to do when discovering your account has been hacked.
When you discover that you’ve been hacked, feeling overwhelmed and frightened is natural. Keeping a level head is necessary in this situation. When someone is panicked, it can cause them to make rash choices, which can make the situation much more dire. Take a moment to gather your composure and remember that a significant number of people and organizations have successfully dealt with circumstances very similar to yours.
Break the connection to the Network
Disconnecting the device or system compromised from the internet should be your first step in responding to this issue. Because of this, the attacker will not be able to compromise your machine further or steal any other data. Remove all connected devices from the network if you have reason to believe that several accounts or devices have been hacked.
Immediately Undergo a Password Change
As quickly as possible, you should change the passwords for any affected accounts or devices. Make sure that the new passwords are secure and different from any others. Think about utilizing a password manager to develop and save passwords with a high level of complexity. Changing your passwords can help you recover control of the situation and stop the hacker from gaining additional access to your accounts.
Turn on Two-Factor Authentication, often known as 2FA
Always use two-factor authentication if it’s available. In addition to your password, a code or token is required for two-factor authentication, which adds an additional degree of security to the system. Even if they have your password, hackers will have a far more difficult time gaining access to your accounts because of this.
Notify All Relevant Parties
You may be required to notify relevant parties, depending on the nature of the breach. If it’s a personal account, you should let any friends or connections you have know that there’s a possibility that your account has been hacked. If your company has been hacked, immediately call your information technology department or cybersecurity team. If your company stores information about its customers, you may also be subject to legal requirements to notify any impacted customers.
Perform a Check for Malware
Conduct a comprehensive scan for malware on your device or network. Malware has the potential to either serve as a point of entry for hackers or as a persistent threat. Ensure that your antivirus software is up to date, and run a comprehensive scan so that you can locate and eliminate any potentially harmful software.
Ensure that Evidence Is Kept
You should document and preserve any evidence if the breach was severe and you intend to report it to law police or involve cybersecurity professionals. This may include screen captures, logs, or any other files that appear to be suspicious. These can be extremely helpful in determining who the hacker is and constructing a case against them.
Restore from an Existing Backup
If you have data backups, you might want to think about restoring your systems and files from a fresh backup source. This is typically the quickest option to get things back to normal and eliminate any possible spyware or backdoors the hacker may have left behind.
Seek the Assistance of Professionals
It is advisable to seek the advice of cybersecurity specialists or professionals when dealing with breaches that are either more difficult or severe. They can assist you in investigating the scope of the breach, locating any vulnerabilities, and putting security measures into place to avoid such assaults.
Gain Knowledge Through Personal Experience
Take some time to think about what happened once you’ve dealt with the immediate danger and returned to your feet following the security breach. Conduct research into the assault to determine how it took place and identify the exploited vulnerabilities. Put this information to use to strengthen your cybersecurity procedures and ward against future attacks like this one.
Getting hacked can be a stressful and unsettling experience, but taking the proper steps immediately can minimize the damage and help you regain control. Remember to stay calm, disconnect from the network, change passwords, enable 2FA, notify relevant parties, scan for malware, preserve evidence, restore from backup, seek professional help, and learn from the experience. By following these guidelines, you can effectively respond to a hack and strengthen your cybersecurity posture.