My PayPal and Facebook accounts were recently phished and my PayPal account was wiped completely clean. I was able to regain the money stolen from my PayPal account, but the following are 5 things you should do immediately after you become suspicious that any of your online account have been hacked.
Restart your computer
Phishing online passwords can be done in many ways – fake websites, keylogging, and Trojan viruses to name a few – and you’ll want to restart your computer to either stop a nasty Trojan from executing or to run a proper virus scan to try and resolve the situation. If you have lots of programs open at once, you might not know which program is the perpetrator and restarting your computer will help you to temporarily stop any program that might be working as a liaison for the online hacker looking to phish your account.
Run a virus scan on your computer
Not all phishing methods are detectable by virus scanners, but running an antivirus program will help to catch keylogging and nasty Trojan viruses that could be the culprits of your hacked and phished online accounts. Running an antivirus program also helps you cover your tracks in the event that you remedy the situation only to have your accounts phished again by an installed virus.
Clean out your internet cookies
Your internet cookies – also known as browser and web cookies – are pieces of text that store online information, but they can also be monitored by rogue programs that can continue to phish personal information from you. Even though cleaning out your browser’s cookies will wipe out all of your saved online passwords, it’s a small price to pay to make sure that your accounts aren’t compromised.
Change all of your online passwords
Cleaning out your web browser’s cookies can help prevent your future online accounts from being hacked, but if the information was already compromised, you won’t be able to stop online hackers from accessing your information unless you change the passwords of all of your online accounts.
Call and inform your bank and credit card companies
There is no telling how far the phisher has gone and how much of your information has been compromised so it’s important to contact PayPal, your bank(s), and all of your credit card companies to have them keep an eye out on your accounts for suspicious activity. Doing this can help to prevent a real world loss from an online phishing account and will help you avoid lots of headaches if your accounts were to be stolen from.
For more, read Antivirus Soft Virus is the Latest Virus Scare, but Can Be Removed for Free, 4 Most Common Warning Signs that Your Computer Has a Virus, and Tech Gone Mad: First Man in History to Catch a Computer Virus.
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