Remember how strongly we stressed the importance of securing your password? Either our advice fell on deaf ears or you never landed on our What Is a Password article. That’s not what we’re here to talk about though. Clearly, you’re in a pickle, and we’re going to tell you exactly what do when your password gets hacked.
How Do you Know that your Password Is Hacked?
When high profile companies with supposedly tough security standards are falling victims to data breaches, it’s hard to believe that regular online users like ourselves with low-security measures are safe. After learning about these massive data breaches, one should be quick to make sure that if he/she has taken the necessary online security precautions to prevent such a misfortunate cyber incident. If you ever do suspect that your password has been hacked, there are many online tools that help confirm that. You can also ask your online friends if they’ve received anything suspicious or spam worthy from you. That could be an indicator of a successful hacking attempt. We’ll discuss these two points further below.
What to Do When Your Password is Hacked? – Steps
With so many log-ins required of us online, we understand the struggle of trying to remember each and every single password we create. No wonder we try to keep our passwords simple. They’re easier to remember and retain that way. But, with the simplicity you’re hoping to achieve, you’re losing security in the process. Easy passwords are easily picked up and cracked by hackers. Is having a simple password worth getting it stolen or hacked? You’re practically sacrificing your online security and data’s only hope of protection at the expense of short term memory problems. In case that ever did happen to you, here’s what you need to do:
Create a Strong Password
Better safe than never right? Before you even reach the point of getting hacked, consider replacing your weak password with a stronger one. If you don’t know how you can resort to some online tools to create one. A strong password is harder to crack and decipher. So, go ahead and check whether your password qualifies as strong before you fall victim to a hacking attempt. Although having one won’t protect you if the hackers directly steal from a website, it will prevent them from using programs to guess it.
Use Online Tools
Check if you have been compromised in a data breach using the haveibeenpwned tool. This is an excellent resource that informs you whether or not your password has been stolen. Just enter your email address and you’ll find out if your account has been comprised or tampered with right away. Hundreds of millions of records of hacked accounts from LinkedIn, MySpace, Adobe, badoo and tumblr have been discovered on this site.
Look for Evidence
If you have any reason to believe or suspect that your password has been hacked, start looking for evidence that backs up your speculations. We advise you to monitor your banking services in search of anomalies and ask your friends whether or not they have received any spam messages from you. Without locating evidence, it’s very hard to validate being hacked.
Inform the Responsible Companies
If the password that has been hacked or stolen is associated with a service you are subscribed to, like your mobile phone, electricity, or insurance, you should let the company in charge know. They will be of great help to you. The company can follow suspicious activities on your account and provide you with the evidence you need to look for as discussed above.
Address the Issue
Sometimes, hackers hack passwords and then change the email address connected to it. This explains why it’s hard to know if your password has been hacked or stolen. If you fail to log into your account, reset your password by clicking the “Forgot your password” link. If you receive the ‘change password’ email, and you manage to reset your password without any further complications, you’re safe. However, if that “change password” email never ends up in your inbox, there is a chance that you’ve been hacked.
Consider Multiple Breaches
One of the main reasons why we warn you against having the same password for multiple accounts is multiple breaches. If you find out that your password has been stolen, you must turn your attention to the other accounts that have the same password as the one that has been hacked.
Once a hacker gets his/her hand on one password, they’ll try their luck with all of your accounts. And if your accounts do have the same password for each account, you have to change them immediately. You need to make sure that each account carries a different password. While it might be difficult to remember every password for each account, it’s necessary for the protection of your accounts.
Use a VPN
Another way to stay safe online is by setting up a VPN. This way you make sure that you’re always logging on to secure networks thus reducing the chances of your data and passwords getting hacked. Although a VPN helps you expand your digital boundaries, it manages to keep you safe while doing so. Online users without a VPN face the risk of having their personal data exploited by hackers, cybercriminals, and third parties. We recommend ExpressVPN for it offers the best all-around performance of any VPN on the market.
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- Extensions for Firefox and Chrome
- Split-tunneling available
Hacked Password – Final Words
It’s pretty terrifying if you think about it, having your most valuable data in the hands of strangers. God knows what they plan on doing with it. Cyber thieves can blackmail you, sell your data, or even discard it if you don’t cooperate with them. It’s a pretty scary situation, which you wouldn’t have to face if you keep your password secure. There are many ways in which you can protect your password.
We’ve previously discussed in the previous article how you can achieve the target of making your password unhackable. However, if you were so unfortunate to experince a password hack, you can always follow the guide we’ve so carefully constructed for you to regain your online security. Let us know if you have any more suggestions when it comes to overcoming a password hack. Also, share with us your thoughts regarding the helpfulness of the article above.