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So, You’ve Been Hacked: Here’s What To Do Next

So, You’ve Been Hacked: Here’s What To Do Next

By: SMITH THOMPSON

Being hacked is never a fun experience. Whether it is your social media account that has been hacked or your vital business platforms, you will need to carry out certain procedures in order to limit any potential damage.

If you have been hacked, try not to panic, as this will probably not help matters. Remain calm and follow these steps.

Regain Access

If you notice that your account or platform has been hacked, the first step you need to take is to regain access yourself. You may need to contact tech support for the specific platform and notify them that your account has been hacked. If it is your social media accounts, for example, Twitter, that have been hacked, the site will most likely enable you to lock the hacker out of the account.

If other platforms such as databases have been hacked, you may even need to contact law enforcement as well as the providers of those platforms.

Change Your Password

Whichever platform has been breached, you will need to change your password as soon as you can. If the same password is used for anything else, you should also change your passwords for those platforms too, in case the hacker attempts to breach a different platform.

Even if you have not been hacked, changing your passwords every now and then is highly recommended by security professionals.

Identify the Extent of the Hack

Dealing with the aftermath of a hack means having to work out exactly how many platforms and accounts have been hacked, and how much data may have been stolen or compromised if a database has been breached. If you are not sure how to do this, it may be worth hiring the services of a cybersecurity consultant.

Notify Any Relevant Individuals

Depending on the account or platform that may have been hacked, and the extent of any damage done, the number of people who need to be notified will vary largely. For example, if your personal Twitter account has been hacked, you may only need to notify a few people, or perhaps even nobody at all.

However, if a business account or an account with many followers is hacked and posts or messages shared fraudulently, you need to make it clear that these were the result of a hack. You may even need to apologise if offensive or misleading content was shared in your name.

If a database full of customer or client data has been breached, you will need to notify (usually via email) each customer or client, apologise, and reassure them that their data has been recovered and is now safe.

How hacked is hacked? Here's a 'hack scale' to better understand the  SolarWinds cyberattacks - GeekWire

Develop a Cybersecurity Plan

The final step in recovering from a hack is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. The best way to do this is to develop up-to-date and effective cybersecurity procedures. Taking an AWS security certification path or a similar course can be a great way of keeping yourself informed about cybersecurity.

If you are running a business with multiple employees, you will need to make sure that every member of staff is trained in cybersecurity and data protection procedures.

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