I’ve Been Hacked! What Do I Do Now?

We get this question several times a week, so it’s not just you. And no, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy – even if your friends think so, otobox mieten and even if law enforcement won’t take your case. People’s computers and phones get hacked, every day.

Why won’t the police do anything about it – isn’t it a crime?

In general law enforcement will take on a case that involves endangerment of children, test ansia stress depressione loss of more than about $500 in property (this changes from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and can include intellectual property), a believable threat to Homeland Security, or a clear threat to the safety of your person – like a death threat, for instance.

They may take on cyberstalking if it is part of violation of parole or a court order. Otherwise, they’ll be needing you to furnish more evidence, such as that provided by a private investigator or computer forensic expert, before they’ll take on a case. The police are just too busy with a limited budget.

Before you decide what you need to do about it though, you need to decide what you want to do about it: Do you just want it to stop, or do you want to catch the person who’s doing it? Or both?

It’s not really possible to be online and be 100% protected from hacking, but there are numerous measures you can take to make it not worth most anyone’s time. They include:


  • Keep your operating system and antivirus patches updated.
  • Secure your router – especially your wireless router: Stair Treads The manufacturer or your Internet Service Provider can help you with the best settings for your particular equipment.
  • Don’t give out your Social Security number or use it as an ID: You usually only have to give it to your employer, your financial institution and government agencies.
  • Disable your Guest account on your computer.
  • Don’t make your personal info public on social networks or elsewhere.
  • Don’t open email from people you don’t know.
  • Don’t click on links in email.
  • Don’t make online purchases from sites you don’t know well.
  • Use a firewall (hardware and/or software). ake vagina
  • Make sure that your Android is not rooted and that your iPhone is not jailbroken.
  • Don’t give any of your passwords to others.
  • Don’t use the same password for everything.
  • Make sure that Administrator access on your computer is protected and accessible only to you (use a password).
  • Disable Guest access on your computer.
  • Disable remote logins
  • Require a password to log onto your computer, phone or email.
  • Use effective passwords: A good guide is at the “Perfect Passwords” page at Gibson Research Corporation’s website.


If you’ve already been compromised, you can sometimes roll back your system via System Restore to a time before the compromise – if you know when that was. You may just want to back up your important documents, format your hard disk, reinstall your operating system and get a clean start.

On an iPhone or a BlackBerry, Youtube to MP3 a factory restore will wipe out any old virus, keylogger, or other malware you might have picked up – along with everything else that you put there on purpose. Doing the same for an Android should wipe out any malware as well. Although some Android data may be recoverable by an expert after a factory reset, there should be no active malware.

But, have I been hacked?

Frankly, it’s not always easy to tell.

Most apparent phone, email or computer hacking is really the result of nontechnical “human hacking.” We make so much information public, Weft Hair Extensions it can become possible for a perpetrator to guess logins and passwords, or fool an email service into sending a password reset link for an account that is not theirs. One well-publicized recent example is Matt Honan of Wired Magazine, who famously wrote, “In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed.” But nobody used any special technical skills. They just looked up information, made some clever guesses, and had a lot of chutzpah. Fortunately, most of us are not such attractive targets as a Wired journalist.

The book, “Social Engineering: the Art of Human Hacking,” by Christopher Hadnagy, talks a lot about such methods, and how to protect oneself against them.

What are some signs that could indicate that you have been hacked?


  • New programs have been installed on your computer – ones you didn’t install (although some software – especially free software – sneaks various programs and “helpful” browser toolbars past you).
  • New documents appear on your computer.
  • Documents disappear from your computer (although it’s not hard to accidentally delete or move files around without noticing).
  • Programs pop open that you didn’t click on (although there are other, innocent reasons this could happen).
  • You get odd pop-up messages that don’t seem to come from a program you are using.
  • Your passwords have changed (and not because you just forgot them).
  • Your security program(s) has been uninstalled or deactivated.
  • The computer is doing things by itself – the mouse moves and clicks on things without any action by you, for instance.
  • You find information about you on the Web that should only be known to you.
  • There’s a note displayed on your desktop – your screen – that you didn’t put there.


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