What to Do When Your Account Has Been Hacked

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Know the warning signs of a hacked account and learn how to respond to this stressful situation

In the digital age, things are constantly changing and many crimes take place on the web. This is extremely alarming considering a large number of financial transactions take place online. While online banking can make money management convenient and intuitive, it can also leave your information exposed to online hackers. If you find yourself the victim of an account hack, it is important to know what to do and how to recover your information.

Signs that your account has been hacked

It is sometimes obvious that your account has been hacked because large sums of money are missing, but some hackers often act in subtle ways and only take a small amount of your money at a time. Because of this, Ananya Bhattacharya of CNN recommends constantly checking your account for any suspicious activity. Financial institutions are more adept at combating hackers than ever before, as many are able to notice when your account is accessed from a mysterious device and will alert you to this interaction as soon as possible.

Who is liable?

Unfortunately, you may not notice a hack until long after it has happened. This can lead to questions about who will recover the money you have lost. Harlan Landes of Forbes notes that financial institutions are almost always liable for any stolen funds that were the result of a cyber crime. However, most states require that you alert your financial institution of a hacked account within 60 days of its occurrence. After alerting your financial institution, you should change your password and ask them to temporarily freeze your account.

How to prevent a hack

Employing preventative measures can help safeguard your account and potentially prevent a future hack. Geffner says that one of the most effective ways to keep your account financially secure is to keep your social security number confidential. You shouldn’t send this number over e-mail, and you certainly should not use part of it as your PIN. Furthermore, keep an eye out for suspicious “free” software or apps, even if they claim to be designed by a legitimate source.

Having your account hacked can certainly be a stressful situation. Therefore, contacting your financial institution as soon as possible will ultimately help you get back on your feet.

Published by Police FCU
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