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The Resource Center Online Security Issues & Protection | article

Identify theft when your accounts get hacked

Hacked accounts can be more than just a terrible nuisance if you haven’t taken steps to protect your identity from theft. Because we conduct so much personal business over the internet, access to one of your online accounts – whether that is an email address or even just your social media profile – could expose a bevy of personal information about yourself that could be used to access your finances or even pose as you in opening new accounts or lines of credit.

Here are a few ways for your to identify theft if you think one of your accounts may have been compromised:

  • There are posts on your social media accounts that you never made on your own. In many cases, if this is the case of a hacker and not just an innocent prank from friends, they will have an unnatural language to them and encourage fellow users to click on links or download an app.
  • Someone in your email contact list has claimed to have received emails from you that you never sent.
  • If there had been a data breach, malware infection or a personal storage device goes missing, it could lead to identity theft if a criminal is responsible.

How do you protect your identity and those of your friends and loved ones in these situations? Here are a few tips:

  • Notify them all not to open messages from you if they appear suspicious.
  • If you identify theft on your computer, make sure all your malware protection software is up-to-date and you have sought out the best removal tools available to you.
  • Change all of your passwords and make sure each one is unique and not easily predictable so a thief can’t do further damage.