What to do if an account is compromised

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Unfortunately, in this day and age, account compromises can happen, whether it is the result of a phishing scam, compromised website, or identity theft. If an online account is compromised, it is important to act quickly, in order to protect yourself. Here are some steps to follow if one of your accounts is compromised.

Contact the Service as Soon as Possible

Regardless of whether your compromised account is your credit card, email, or a website login, the first step is to reach out to the service provider. If your credit card has been compromised, you will not be responsible for fraudulent charges, and your credit card provider will cancel your current card and send you a new one with a different number.

If your email address has been compromised, reach out to your service provider using an alternative email address. With a compromised email address, any service you use that email address for is at risk of compromise as hackers can use the “forgot password” button to reset passwords. With this in mind, once you’ve recovered your account, change every single password for every website and service that uses your email address.

Secure your Account

Once you’ve re-claimed control of your account and changed your password, check to see what additional security features are offered. Two-factor authentication is a common security measure and a great way to add an additional layer of protection to accounts when logging on from an unrecognized device.

Contact your Financial Institution

If your personal information has been stolen or compromised, taking protective steps quickly can minimize the risk of identity theft and fraud. Your financial institution will be able to “flag” your account and identify that your information has been compromised.

Stay Alert

Continue to monitor all of your accounts, not just the one(s) that were compromised to ensure that they are secure.