How to Know If You've Been Hacked
If your device is connected to the internet — it’s vulnerable to cyber criminals. Hackers are always developing new ways to get their hands on your data.
Your online accounts store tons of your personal information. A quick way for a hacker to gain access to your data is by logging into your online accounts without your permission — giving them access to everything you’ve stored in that account.
Your Google account houses financial information, photos, locations, all of your recent Google searches, contact information, and more. In addition to a Google account, I'm sure you own multiple other accounts, including Netflix, Facebook, and Amazon, which all store personal information.
So, if a hacker were to get into just one of your accounts, they could potentially wreak havoc in your life. That’s why it’s important to know how to tell if someone else is logged into your online accounts.
If you think someone might be logged into your accounts without your permission, there are a few things you can do to find out.
Change Your Password
As a first step, immediately change the password of the account you are suspicious about. Make sure the new password is unique, not just a variation of the previous one. Be sure to use a mix of capital and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols to make the new password more difficult to crack.
When it comes to passwords, I highly recommend using a password manager and creating unique passwords for every website you create an account on. This prevents hackers from being able to use a password lifted from a compromised site. If you reuse passwords, hackers will be able to easily exploit this and cause chaos in your digital life.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
It’s a good idea to enable two-factor authentication on all of your online accounts. This adds an extra layer of security to your accounts and makes it much harder for hackers to gain access to them.
You can usually enable two-factor authentication in the security settings of your online accounts. Once it’s enabled, you’ll be prompted to enter a code that is sent to your phone whenever you try to log into your account from a new device.
Check Account's Recent Activity
Next, you should check the recent activity of your account. Most online platforms will show you a list of all the recent activity on your account, including the time, date, and location of each login. If you see any suspicious activity, it’s likely that someone else has logged into your account without your permission.
By taking precautions — using a strong password and two-factor authentication — you can help protect your online accounts from being hacked in the first place.
It is a good idea to check in on your accounts' recent activity regularly to make sure you recognize all logins.
Now, if you haven’t taken precautions or a particularly persistent cyber criminal has targeted you, and you know you’ve been hacked — here’s what you can do…
Google collects and stores tons of personal information, including your search history, contact information, photos, financial information, and location data.
If you think someone has logged into your Google account without your permission — change your password immediately and check the recent activity on your account.
If you see any logins, you don't recognize, that's a sign that someone has been accessing your account without your permission! Google has an option that allows you to sign a device out of your account remotely. If you have changed your password, then the intruder shouldn’t be able to get back in.
You can find step-by-step instructions on how to see if someone is using your Google account and what to do here.
Hackers commonly compromise Facebook accounts by tricking you into giving them your password. Your friend may message you on Facebook Messenger saying something like “OMG, did you see who died?” or "I can't believe they posted this photo of you!" along with a link.
Always be suspicious of links, my friends…
When you click on the link, it will take you to a fraudulent login page that looks just like Facebook. But when you enter your password, the hackers now have access to your account. Beware!
If you think your Facebook account has been hacked, go ahead and change your password and take a look at your account’s recent activity.
Facebook has created a tool to help walk you through the process of checking if your account has been hacked. Check your account here.
If someone logs into your Netflix account, they will stay logged in on their TV or other devices indefinitely.
That means they could continue to watch shows and movies on your account without you even knowing!
You can usually tell that someone is sneaking around your Netflix account if you notice movies and shows popping up in the “recently watched” category that you never watched…
Did you see the Great British Bake-Off in your watch history, but the only thing you watch is true-crime documentaries? Then something’s off…
Netflix has easy-to-follow instructions on how to check if someone is using your accounts. Read here.
If someone has your Amazon password, they can do a lot more than just order items on your account. They can also see all the items you have ordered in the past, your contact information, and your financial information.
Amazon accounts often have one-click purchases enabled — making shopping convenient for you but, unfortunately, extremely easy for hackers if your account is compromised.
It's important to be extra vigilant about keeping your Amazon account secure since so much personal information is stored on the site.
Many Amazon customers have Amazon Prime which comes with Prime Video, a media streaming platform similar to Netflix. You don’t want strangers to have access to any of your services or information.
If you think your Amazon account has been hacked…. You guessed it! Change your password and check out the account's recent activity.
Check out the steps to see if others are using your account and learn how to remove unauthorized devices here remotely. Read here.
Stay Cyber Safe
Be careful out there and keep an eye on your personal and business accounts!
If you have any other questions about cybersecurity or privacy, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm always happy to help!
CEO of One Step Secure IT