How to know if your online account security has been compromised

Don’t blame your gray cells for the forgotten password; your account might have been hacked and you are locked out. We live in a world rocked by WikiLeaks and Cablegate – security lapses of the highest kind, scandals that mortified the US Government over its vested foreign policy.

With hackers on the prowl, the online world is an unsafe place to be in without adequate security. You keep a lot of information online – even your HB Swiss trading strategy. But there are times when the best security is breached and you find your account violated. How will you know when that happens?

Here are few tips that will tell you when your account is compromised.

  • Password changed: If you see a message on your screen that states that your password has changed and you didn’t do it is a clear sign of hackers at work. Check your recovery account and initiate the two-step authentication.
  • Getting phone calls from Microsoft and Apple: If you receive any notification or a pop up claiming that your account has been hacked and your computer is at risk and to protect yourself call the given number or download an app, you know you are in trouble.
  • Web browser looks different: If your browser looks different and there are new tools on your toolbar, get alerted as malicious codes have taken control of your account.
  • New followers on social media: If your social media accounts like twitter and facebook show you following and been followed by unknown people, be assured your account has been hacked.
  • Spam Updates from your account: Your friends will be the first to know when your account is hacked because they will be flooded with spam messages and content. They will be the best judge because they know you cant be updating and posting inappropriate content. If this happens, delete all your posts, revoke access to third party apps and change your password at once.
  • Account accessed from a new device and location: Have you observed the message on your login page where Google or facebook tells you that your account was logged in from a different device or location? Well, that is a safety measure used by these sites to warn you that your account was accessed by the unknown device and from different IP; it is to warn a security breach if any. Do not ignore these warnings, because they tell you that someone has hacked your account and is impersonating you if you didn’t access your account from the said places.
  • Online purchases that you didn’t make: You know something is fishy when you receive an email or a text message stating that you made some purchases online when you didn’t. Since nowadays all transactions done online require your credit card details, you are always vulnerable. Get full details of the purchase and cancel the credit card and change the password of the account immediately.

The Solution

The threat is real and you can escape it only if are prepared and aware. The only way you can protect yourself when online is by following the below measures. They are not foolproof but most certainly will keep you safe majority of the time.

  • Delete applications that you do not use on your device.
  • Install a reliable and well-rounded antivirus and anti-malware on your system.
  • Change your DNS setting; it is crucial for your safety.
  • Check your social account and clear all services you don’t use anymore.
  • Uninstall an infected browser and reinstall an updated version.
  • Ensure that you follow all the online guidelines issued by your bank to prevent your account been hacked, for that is by far the most important account that you possess.