3 Things to Do If You Are a Victim of Cybercrime
Take Hacking Seriously; It Could Hurt You
Hacking is a serious issue that affects many people. It could happen (and perhaps already has happened) to you.
Nearly half of all Americans might have been victims of a cyber attack in 2017.
All Is Not Lost, But You Need to Take Charge Now
The first thing to do: take a deep breath and get perspective.
You are now involved in a serious conflict that you need to take very seriously. Now, you are at war with cybercriminals.
However, if you take the right measures promptly, you have a strong hope to limit the damage of hacking and get on with your life.
The National Cybersecurity Alliance wrote an excellent, free guide on what to do if you become a victim of cybercrime.
We strongly encourage you to read through their short 2-page pamphlet. Here is a summary of their main points:
- Cybercrime comes in many forms.
- You should report cybercrime, but you need to report it to different agencies of law enforcement.
- Gather your evidence, both paper and electronic.
- Read through tips on specific types of cybercrime.
- Take preventative measures against all forms of malware.
- Read other websites about how to fight or file a complaint against cybercrime.
Additionally, if you have financial accounts, call your bank, advisor, insurance agent, or other providers to alert them of the situation. They might be able to offer you additional advice.
Consider also contacting the credit agencies and putting a fraud alert and in some cases, a credit freeze on future applications for credit in your name. Hackers might attempt to exploit your weakness. They will use your data to fraudulently make credit card applications in your name.
Finally, consider changing your accounts with different, more robust passwords.
After the Dust Settles, Be Proactive and Defend against Future Attacks
You can put your life back together after a cyber attack.
However, you also need to think of the future. Take additional defensive measures to make it much more difficult for a cybercriminal to hack you in the future.
 Jose Pagliery, “Half of American adults hacked this year”, CNN Tech, May 28, 2014, on https://money.cnn.com/2014/05/28/technology/security/hack-data-breach/index.html accessed on September 27, 2018.
 “Tips and Advice: If You Become A Victim of Cybercrime”, StaySafeOnline.org, September 2017 on https://staysafeonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/What-To-Do-If-You-Are-a-Victim-of-Cybercrime.pdf accessed on September 27, 2018.
 Bree Folwer, “Tips for Better Passwords”, Consumer Reports, June 27, 2018, on https://www.consumerreports.org/digital-security/tips-for-better-passwords/ accessed on September 27, 2018.