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I’ve been hacked! Now what?

You probably feel like shouting at the top of your lungs right now. You are angry, sad, and concerned. We get it. 

Being hacked can be quite critical. Your private information and potentially your money is in jeopardy. 

So, what do you do now? Let’s look into your options together. 

Cancel Everything

Cancel your internet, the wifi, unplug your network, Bluetooth, your credit cards… Cancel everything immediately. 

Unless the hacker is in the same room as you and using your computer (if so you have a nasty security problem and need to call the police!!!), he has to go through the internet to access your device. The fastest and most effective way to prevent potential leaks is to block access to the outside world of your computer.

It’s drastic, but it works!

Encrypted Data and Blackmail

You are told on your device or in your emails that your data has been encrypted and that you must pay $X amount to regain access to your documents. This kind of blackmail is common. Often, the hackers will ask that you pay in cryptocurrency because it is completely anonymous and difficult, if not impossible, to trace.

Don’t pay anything!

Nothing guarantees that you will recover your files after having transferred the requested sum. Worse, seeing that you agree to take money out of your pocket, you agree with the pirate(s). All of a sudden, the hackers won! It’s counter-intuitive. And often, the greatest value of your information is what you’re willing to give away.

And even if the scammer gives you your files, who tells you that there are no backdoors included for the hackers to continue, almost undetectable, stealing your personal information and files. You can no longer trust your data and your machine.

Seek Help From Experts

Beyond updating your platforms and software (which should always be done anyway), you are probably facing a problem that goes much further than your IT knowledge. Your best allies are computer technicians duly trained to deal with cybersecurity.

If the device belongs to your employer or is used for work, it is essential to notify the IT department. There is no guarantee that your network connection to your company is not compromised and therefore the entire computer and tools. Experts in cybersecurity will help you do what is necessary to ensure that the breach doesn’t spread across all of the company’s devices.

Play Fair

One last piece of advice: don’t be afraid of the judgment of IT technicians. You must tell them what you have or haven’t done with your device, and this, with as much transparency as possible. The more information you give them, the better they can handle the situation.

If you’re not sure where to find cybersecurity specialists, check out our member’s webpage right here. These are companies in Canada that specialize in cybersecurity and may be able to help. 

We wish you good luck and hope that you are able to recover your personal information and files!