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Kaspersky’s 7 Tips for Dealing with Hacking Attempts

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In today’s connected world, it is a matter of when rather than if you will experience someone trying to hack you.

With cybercriminals becoming more sophisticated in their attempts, it is possible that at some point or another you may interact with a scammer or click on a phishing link.

As prevention is always better than cure, Kaspersky experts share several tips on what steps you should take to avoid being hacked when you notice potentially suspicious activity.

Old IoT vulnerabilities – a botnet gift that keeps on giving
Old IoT vulnerabilities – a botnet gift that keeps on giving

1. Do not give any more information

This is the most important rule. If something feels ‘off’ about a website you are led to after clicking a link, asking for your name, email, phone number, or bank card information, close it immediately. If you are talking to someone on the phone, and the conversation seems even just a little strange, hang up immediately and do not answer if they call back. And if you are communicating through video conferencing tools, end the meeting and close the application.

2. Disconnect your device from the Internet

This is essential if you have installed any applications at someone’s request, or someone’s done something on your computer using remote control tools. If this has happened, chances are that malware has been installed on your computer or smartphone. To prevent cybercriminals from controlling your device remotely, disconnect the device from the Internet by turning off Wi-Fi and your mobile data or unplug the ethernet cable of your computer. See Step 6 below for further actions.

3. Put yourself in the hacker’s shoes

If you already have visited a suspicious website or talked on the phone, try to remember any information you entered on the site or shared with the caller. Address and name? Phone number? Bank card number? Password or security code received in SMS? If you only shared your name, address, and phone number, no further action is required. Unfortunately, the situation is worse if you have shared more sensitive information, such as passwords, photos of personal documents, or banking information

4. Change your passwords

You must regularly change the passwords to all your accounts. However, when you have interacted with a hacker, it is vital to quickly log in to the service in question and change the password immediately. If you disconnected your device from the Internet, use another device rather than plugging in the potentially infected one. Do not hesitate to ask your friends or co-workers for help if you do not have another device. When accessing any services, enter the site address manually or open it through your browser bookmarks rather than clicking on links in emails.

5. Contact your bank or service provider

If you provided bank card numbers or other financial information, contact the bank immediately. You can usually block cards through a dedicated hotline, as well as through a mobile app and your personal account on the website. For other types of data, such as bank account details, consult with specialists from the bank or online service about protective measures to take.

6. Check your device

If you’ve disconnected your device from the internet due to a potential infection, conduct a thorough malware check before reconnecting. Ensure your protection software is updated and run a deep scan. If your device lacks protection, download it from the manufacturer’s website on another device.. You can then transfer the installation files across using a USB flash drive or SD card.

7. Check for any suspicious activity

After taking all the steps above, make sure that the hackers have not managed to do anything harmful with the potentially compromised accounts. If these are online stores or bank accounts, check your recent purchases. If you see any purchases that you did not make, try to cancel them by contacting the online store or your bank. On social networks, check recent posts, new friends, photo album content, and so on. In messaging apps, check your recent chats to make sure no fraudulent messages were sent from your account.

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