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What to do if you think you’ve been hacked

PopSci: “Being hacked can feel like a personal attack: You go to log into Facebook, Gmail, or iCloud—and your password doesn’t work, leaving you unable to access your most important online accounts. This worst-case scenario might bring on feelings of nausea and helplessness. Fortunately, you can take action in the face of digital vandalism. If you find yourself locked out of your accounts, major internet services have prepared a few routes for getting back in. As well as restoring your access, these companies help you limit the damage a hacker can do. How do you know that someone else has truly taken control of one of your accounts? Not being able to log in is a big clue—but don’t immediately assume you’ve been hacked the moment your password doesn’t work. First, make sure the culprit is really a bad actor: For example, if you can’t get into your Facebook or Twitter account on your computer, try logging in on another device to see if you’ve really lost your access. Also make sure to double-check the password you’re typing before you start to suspect the worst. Another warning sign can come in the form of email. Many services will send you messages about suspicious activity, such as when somebody logs into your account from an unfamiliar computer (or an unfamiliar country), or when somebody changes your username or password. Make sure to check your inbox for emails like these. Also, keep an eye out for messages from friends: If “you” have started sending them spam, they can alert you that your account was compromised. Once you realize you’ve been hacked, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and take back your account…”

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