Have I been hacked (Pwnd)?

We all have online accounts scattered across many providers and if they become compromised our information usually gets leaked.

Once this happens people are more likely to become the victim of cyber crime as many often still use the same password across all their digital world. Unfortunately when these passwords are stolen by cyber criminals, they will attempt to use the username and password on other websites like PayPal, Amazon and banking sites – these are usually the first ones targeted.

How to check if you have been hacked / had your details leaked

The quickest way to find out whether you’ve been hacked is to visit this website haveIbeenpwnd.com.
This site goes through the list of company accounts that have been breached and also pastebin where passwords are sometimes posted online. It lets you know if your email address is on the list.

If you are on there it is worthwhile going through and changing any passwords on the site it highlights, but also other sites that use the same address and password.

3 tips to make sure that your password is secure:

1. Change your password regularly
By frequently changing your password it makes it harder for criminals to capture your information. It is a good idea to change your passwords every 60 days.

2. Set up 2-way authentication
Where possible set up 2-way authentication. This acts like a second barrier and is added protection. Some examples of this include setting up a secret question and answer, getting a text message, using a fingerprint scanner or a physical object like a code generator which constantly produces a new code that only you have access to.

3. Use different passwords for every site
Although having the same password and keeping everything consistent makes it easier for us to remember, it also makes it easier for cyber criminals to attack us. It’s highly advised to alternate your passwords between your accounts and remember to never share your private details with anyone else.
If you go through each of the above points and maintain this you can ensure that you’ve done everything you can to help keep yourself protected online. After all the online world is a huge place and we are all exposed so it’s worthwhile to implement the necessary precautions.

What else to look out for?

  • Scammers also target their victims by telephone.
    Be careful when you receive phone calls from people claiming to be calling from a specific place (they usually use the name of a large well-known company like Microsoft). It is very rare that such companies will have your contact details and will be contacting you directly, unless you are expecting a call from them.
  • If you receive a phone call from someone who is requesting access to your machine do not allow them access.
  • Look out for emails that include links and requests for sensitive information. Fake emails often ask you to reply to the message with confidential information. You will never be asked to provide personal/ private information.
  • Look out for spelling mistakes.
  • Legitimate companies will never tell you that your account has been or will be frozen and that you need to validate it. There are many such fakes, and some quite legitimate-looking.
  • Do not respond. Do not divulge any personal or financial information.
  • They often have an urgent tone and threaten account suspension if you don’t update your information right away.
  • They might include attachments and often have a generic greeting like “Attention member.”

If you’ve recently been hacked or have been victim of a scam you can always bring your computer into our team at Nexus. We’ll run our thorough checks and specialist scans, remove anything we feel is of concern and clean up your machine. Contact us today on 01753 884700.

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