Quick Identification & Response to Hacks

How Do You Know if You've Been Hacked?

  • Your friends tell you they've been receiving spam or phishy e-mail from your account.
  • Your phone is receiving collection company calls about nonpayment. The battery and data usage are higher than normal. The charges from premium SMS numbers show up on your bill.
  • You start seeing unwanted toolbars, homepages, or plugins appearing on your browser. You see a lot of pop-ups or web page redirects. The passwords you have online are not working.
  • You receive a message about insufficient funds on your bank account.
  • You receive a notification from a company that has recently suffered a security breach. 

How to Recover From a Hack

  1. Use an unaffected device to change your affected passwords.
  2. Make sure to update your mobile software and apps. 
  3. Update and use your antivirus software to run a complete scan. Use instructions that are provided to quarantine or delete any infected files.
  4. Update browser and software plugins and check that they are updated.
  5. If your computer is still behaving oddly, the best option may be to completely reformat your machine to make sure that all affected software is fixed.
  6. Report to credit agencies to prevent identity theft if you believe personally identifiable information has been affected.
  7. Be prepared and backup files frequently. Consider having two backups, one on an external drive and one on cloud storage. 


  1. http://er.educause.edu/blogs/2016/11/july-2017-think-youve-been-hacked-heres-how-to-shake-it-off
  2. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0376-hacked-email
  3. https://www.wired.com/2013/03/what-to-do-after-youve-been-hacked/