The year 2022 caused a real upheaval in the world of cybersecurity. Cyberattacks, hacks, and leaks of confidential information reached a new level and maintain the tension even today. In the first three months of 2023, several big companies were confronted with cyber attacks or data leaks, among them Pepsi, PUMA, YUM Brands, and T-Mobile. The total number of leaked personal information datasets goes way beyond 100 Million. And knowing how to report a cybercrime may not be an easy task.
With panagendas Information Security blog post series, we already tackled many areas of information security. We offered a personal security checklist and informed you about various threats when working from home or from your workplace. And recently we also showed you, how to perform your own personal information security risk assessment to further protect your personal data and information. But no matter how sophisticated our measurements against attackers might be, the worst-case scenario could still happen. And we have to be prepared for that, too.
Here Are 5 Important Steps You Should Take in Case You Need to Report a Cybercrime
1. Change Your Passwords
If you suspect that a hacker has accessed your accounts, you should immediately change all your passwords. Use a strong, unique password for each account. You can find more information about how to handle your passwords in our previous blog posts.
2. Check Your Bank Accounts and Credit Cards
Make sure no unauthorized transactions or charges have been made to your bank or credit card accounts. Report any suspicious activity to your bank or credit card company immediately.
3. Secure Your Computers and Devices
Update your security software and run a full scan on all devices to ensure that there is no malware. Also, if you have not already, install a firewall to prevent future attacks. A personal security checklist and a personal information security risk assessment might offer some help here.
4. Inform Your Contacts
If you suspect your contacts may also be affected, inform them and recommend that they also change their passwords. It is important to be clear about what happened and what actions you have taken to address the issue. It is also important to advise your contacts not to click on any links or download any attachments in any emails or messages coming from you, that appear suspicious. This is because hackers may have gained access to your contacts through your email or messaging accounts, and they may be using the same tactics to try to gain access to your contacts’ accounts as well.
You may want to recommend Two-factor Authentication to your contacts if they have not already done so. You can also rise security awareness by promoting the steps you have already taken to improve your information- and cybersecurity.
By informing your contacts about the attack and providing them with guidance on how to protect their own accounts, you can help prevent the further spread of the attack and minimize the damage.
If you suspect that your personal data has been stolen or that it is a serious attack, you should inform the relevant authorities. This can be your local police department or a cyber security agency. When you inform the relevant authorities about the attack, you should provide them with as much information as possible, including the type of attack, the date and time it occurred, and any potential damage that may have been caused. It is important to keep in mind that reporting the attack to the authorities may not guarantee that the attacker will be caught or that your data will be recovered. However, it is still an important step to take as it can help the authorities better understand the scope of the attack and potentially prevent future attacks.
Lastly, you may also want to consider seeking professional help from a cybersecurity expert or a lawyer who specializes in cybersecurity. They can help you assess the extent of the damage and provide you with guidance on how to best protect yourself and prevent similar attacks from happening in the future.