Are you being hacked? here’s what you can do to stop it

As cyber criminals become more sophisticated with how they hack people, you should take steps to avoid being a victim. Picture: Freepik

As cyber criminals become more sophisticated with how they hack people, you should take steps to avoid being a victim. Picture: Freepik

Published Apr 5, 2024


With cyber criminals 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 that could hack you.

As prevention is always better than cure, there are steps you can take to avoid being hacked when you notice potentially suspicious activity.

Kaspersky experts share tips to help people if they think that they are being hacked:

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 personal information like 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.

Disconnect your device from the Internet

This is crucial if you have installed any applications due to the request of someone else, or someone’s done something on your computer using remote control tools.

If this has happened, there is a chance that malware has been installed on your computer or smartphone.

To stop cyber criminals from taking control of your device remotely, disconnect the device from the Internet by switching off Wi-Fi and your mobile data or unplug the ethernet cable that is connected to your computer.

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.

According to Kaspersky, if you only shared your name, address, and phone number, no further action is required.

The situation is worse if you have shared more sensitive information, such as passwords, photos of personal documents, or banking information.

Change your passwords

You should be regularly changing the passwords to all your accounts.

If you have interacted with a hacker, it is vital that you 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 instead of clicking on links in emails.

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.

Check your device

If you followed our advice and disconnected your device, thoroughly check it for malware or potentially unsafe software before reconnecting to the internet.

If you already have a comprehensive protection system installed, ensure that the protection databases have been updated recently and all protection and scanning technologies are enabled.

Then run the deepest scan possible, applying settings that can detect not only malware, but also potentially dangerous software such as remote control tools.

If your device does not have protection or if the databases are outdated, then use another device to download protection from the manufacturer’s official website. You can then transfer the installation files across using a USB flash drive or SD card.

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 for any purchases that you did not make and then 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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