Last week, I discussed a few ways hackers can obtain your personal information. This week, as a follow-up, I’d like to provide some tips on what to do if you are indeed hacked.

MORE: The FBI wants you to do this one thing to your home router, now

Before doing so, it’s important to mention that one of greatest challenges that comes with being hacked is realizing that it’s actually happened. Because identity theft often involves the unwarranted use of credit card information, a person does not always know he or she has been victimized until well after the act has taken place. 

Warning signs

With that in mind, here are some of the more common warning signs involved with hacking and identity theft: (1) unwarranted charges to your credit card; (2) unwarranted purchases on online shopping sites; (3) being locked out of a site you could previously access; (4) notification from your friends and family that they have received emails or social media invitations from you that you didn’t send.

In any of these cases, your first course of action should be to immediately contact the places or organizations where you feel you’ve been compromised (banks, Facebook, etc.). Notify them of what’s happened (don’t delay), and in response they should provide you with some suggested courses of action. 

The severity of the hack will dictate the steps that follow. 

Minor hacks, such as a compromised Facebook or Twitter account, often involve changes to your login credentials and/or the closing of your current account and the creation of a new account in its place.

Major cases of identity theft may require police reports and insurance claims be filed, as well as an endless string of phone calls and emails to financial institutions, among other steps. In some instances, you may even need to contract a lawyer for additional help.

It should be noted that your password plays a strong role in all of this, since often it’s the first level of protection against hacking. Creating strong, complex passwords for your accounts often helps thwart decoding attempts by hacking algorithms, and if those programs cannot obtain your password then they cannot access the information behind it. 

Next week, in the final installment of this conversation, I’ll offer suggestions on how to create stronger, more complex passwords and keep track of them easily. 

Until then, for more information on what to do if you’ve been hacked, including additional signs on how to tell if you’ve been breached, please visit this URL: https://goo.gl/mgiofM

 

Untangling the web

 

ferryhalim.com/orisinal/

An air of childish innocence fills the inventive creations at this fun site, which provides a digital home to more than 60 original flash-based games created by Californian flash programmer Ferry Halim. All the titles here base themselves on straightforward point-and-click game play (with many games involving animals as their main characters), artful graphic design (the drawings look very much like what you’d find in an elegant children’s book) and fun music and characters.

Highlights include “Casanova,” about a kissing giraffe, and “Silent Water,” which gets its inspiration from the board game classic “Battleship.” Just click on a tile to launch a game and start playing — all games are free to play and great for people of all ages, especially small children. 

 

Contact  Eyal Goldshmid at [email protected]

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