What To Do When You’ve Been Hacked

Anyone who’s fallen victim to hacking schemes can relate to this one truth – it’s violating, and can be especially stressful if it negatively affects your finances. However, if you discover that you have been hacked, take a deep breath, because there are ways you can mitigate any potential damage while kick-starting your recovery before it’s too late. 

If you have been hacked, or if a family member has been hacked, here are a few steps to take:

Assess any damage that has been done.

You’ll want to get a clear look at what damage has been done to your accounts before you make any big moves. The first step you can take is reviewing your credit card and checking/savings account statements to see if there are any charges you didn’t personally make. You should also check any accounts that require a password to see if they’ve been breached.

Change your passwords.

After you’ve figured out which of your accounts have been hacked, it’s important to change your passwords or personal identification numbers (PINs) on those accounts; we also recommend changing your passwords on other sites as well to stay on the safe side. Don’t choose a password with identifying info, such as birthdays, anniversaries, family or pet names, or addresses or phone numbers.

Check and protect your credit.

If you notice any fraudulent charges on your credit or debit card, contact your carrier immediately. Polam’s team of financial professionals can assist you if your accounts have been breached – just give us a call and we’re happy to help.

Alert the proper authorities.

If you’ve been hacked, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and alert them of potential identity theft. Even though hacking is generally performed remotely, contacting your local law enforcement agency can help mitigate any possible damage.

Keep your eyes open.

While we can’t predict instances of hacking, we can better prepare ourselves for the possibility of it happening. Maintaining strong passwords without identifying information can go a long way in keeping your accounts secure. Avoid using public WiFi if you’re using apps with sensitive information, such as Polam’s mobile banking app. Also, keep a close eye on your accounts, and don’t neglect your credit card statements.