Monday, August 4, 2014

What do you do if you've been hacked?

Photo courtesy of Edie Melson
By Laurie Epps

Sorry that my Monday Morning Book Club is coming out this afternoon. We're continuing with our book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. We're talking about what to do if you get hacked. It's a risk we'll take every time we get on the Internet.

Many of us become overcome with dread when we realize one of our social media sites have been hacked. The easiest way to be hacked is to click on a bad link that's infected with a virus. But, beware. They bait you. 

Calling for verification.

Some examples include:

  • "Did you know that your friends are spreading rumors about you?"
  • "Click here to see a hilarious video about you."
  • Or this recent one: "Find your lost brother or sister from your father's affair."

Should you cancel all your social media accounts? No. Never.

Just like you couldn't stop going to school because of a bully, you can't withdraw from all social media sites and take your name off the Internet.

So what do you do first? Tackle the site that's been compromised first. Change the password, and perhaps give a social media shout out that your account was compromised. Secondly, you'll want to change all your other passwords too. Third, you want to revoke access through the compromised account with any apps you've not used in a while. (Example: If you've not played Tetris in five months, you should deny access from Facebook, if FB was the account compromised.)
Don't let them scare you off the Internet.

Connect Activity:
Some things that'll help you not get hacked:

  • On a PC, regularly run virus software.
  • On any computer, keep programs up to date.
  • Don't click on emails or links if you're not sure of the source.
  • Don't click on any links while on social media that either portray you very positively, or negatively.
  • Don't use the same password for multiple accounts. I know this is tempting, but don't do it.
  • Change out your passwords every 3-6 months.
  • Don't ever give out your password even to a site. It's illegal for them to keep your passwords on file, so just don't.
  • If you're suspicious of a link, verify it with the sender by either emailing, or calling them. If it's a company, go to their website, and ask customer support.

Can't get enough social media? Check out Edie's Social Media Monday's column:

Come back next week, and we'll talk about Hootsuite.

Laurie Epps is a recent graduate of Anderson University majoring in Creative Writing. Already Laurie is most published as a feature article writer, essayist, and poet. A seeker of beauty and world traveler, Laurie hopes to grow into a career in travel writing illuminating the many stories that make us human despite our differences. Currently, Laurie also has a Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.

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