With the recent hacking of LinkedIn, eHarmony and Last.fm, collecting people's passwords from popular social networking sites seems to be a popular hacker passtime these days. So what should you do if you think your password or other personal information is stolen? Here are some good tips to help
1. Change your password for that account. Do this immediately. Pick a password that is substantially different from the original. Security experts recommend that you pick a 25-character password with a combination of letters and numbers. This may seem difficult to remember, but if you use a phrase instead of a single word or a random selection of characters, it will be easier to remember and harder for any hackers to figure out.
2. If you use that password for any other accounts, change those as well. Most people use the same password for more than one account, and hackers know this. They can use the password they steal from your social profile to try and hack into your other more important accounts, like your bank account. Security experts suggest that you use a different password for each of your different key accounts. If you need to write them down to remember them all, don't keep them on your computer. Physically write them down and keep them in a safe place where they won't be stolen.
3. Monitor your important accounts for any unusual activity. If you believe your password has been stolen, it's a good idea to keep track of any accounts you think might have been compromised, including your bank accounts, your email accounts and any social media that you regularly post to, like Facebook. Let your friends know so they can alert you to any suspicious emails or Facebook posts that might be coming from your accounts. Another good idea is to have a credit monitoring service monitor your bank accounts and credit cards so you can be alerted of any fraudulent behavior.
4. Make sure your computer is protected. Many security software suites can actually help fend off hackers and protect your personal information in the event of a hacker attack. Software like Norton and Kaspersky have tools that help encrypt and protect your passwords and also prevent unauthorized access to your computer, protect your system from viruses, and cloak your data ports from intruders searching for any opening.
If you need a good security software suite for your computer or want to sign up for a credit monitoring site to check for fraudulent activity, we review the top products for each so that you can figure out which one fits your needs best. Check out our security software and credit monitoring compare pages to check out our reviews.
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