If you’ve been the victim of a phishing attack, it’s important to act quickly to minimize any potential damage. Here are seven steps you should take if you get phished:
1. Change Your Passwords
The first thing you should do is change your passwords for any accounts that have been compromised. Make sure to use strong, unique passwords that are difficult to guess. When creating new passwords, avoid using personal information like your birthdate or pet’s name.
2. Contact Your Bank
If your financial information was accessed, contact your bank and credit card companies immediately and let them know the situation. They may be able to freeze any accounts or help you get back control of them. For added security, they may also recommend canceling your existing credit or debit cards and issuing new ones.
3. Monitor Your Credit
It’s a good idea to monitor your credit going forward. You can do this by checking your credit reports from all three major bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). Check for any suspicious activity that you don’t recognize. When you receive your credit report, it’s important to read through it and make sure all information is accurate.
4. Take Time to Secure Your Computer
If you think your computer may have been compromised, make sure to take the time to secure it. Change your passwords on any accounts that are on the computer, update your antivirus software, and scan for malware. There may also be other security measures you can take, like setting up two-factor authentication on your online accounts.
5. Notify Friends or Family
If you received an email from a friend or family member as part of a phishing attack, contact them to let them know what happened. They may have had their account compromised as well and need to take steps to protect themselves.
6. Alert Your Employer
If your email account has been phished, you should alert your employer so they can take necessary steps to secure the company’s information. There may also be IT policies in place that need to be followed.
7. Report the Incident
Finally, it’s important to report the incident. You can do this by filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or your local law enforcement agency. This will help ensure that the phisher is held accountable and other people don’t fall victim to similar scams.
By following these seven steps, you can help protect yourself and your information in the event of a phishing attack. Be sure to take action quickly and report any suspicious activity you notice.
Be aware of potential threats and stay safe online!