Well this is a really common hack, Garret. But without the right protections it’s super easy to go to Google, search for something and end up on a scam website.
Then you will get a pop up and it says “You’ve been hacked call this number.” Then they will take/steal your credit card number. Have you download an application and suddenly they will control your machine.
Yikes! So can you about it:
- First of all, shutdown you computer immediately.
- Call your credit card companies and get new cards
- You have to assume they got all your data, passwords and sensitive data on your computer
So what’s the next thing to do:
- Call your bank and cancel your cards and get news ones. Do it for all banks as they probably have enough info to infiltrate everything.
- Reimage your computer. If it’s a Mac, you are in luck that’s a single command.
- Now it is possible that the application they e installed has a rootkit virus. This means it survives in your firmware and will live through an operating reinstall. Wikihow suggests a complete clean Reinstall
- Now install an antivirus before you put anything on the computer. While there are many paid programs. Or you can use Avast which is free although it is nagware. For years I used Norton courtesy of xfinity but they cancelled that this year which is really sad.
- Once that is done now need to go a rotate your passwords. Most folks reuse password like crazy so it’s very common to try to take over your gmail and other email accounts (because then they can gain control of your bank accounts. So get a password manager like 1Password and generate some random ones. I’d start with email, banks and credit card as rapidly as possible.
- Now they probably also have enough information to open mew credit cards in your name. So you need to go to each of the three agencies and have them do a free freeze. Note that these folks will try hard to upsell you but at the bottom of every screen is the freeze. So go to Experian, equifax and transunion. Get a free credit report and see what it says while you are at it.
- Now you need to realize you are on a list of vulnerable people. So if you have them your SSN and other stuff you need to keep watch for new bank accounts and other things that are opening.
- This is a good time to go to haveibeenpwned.com so you can see how many times your identity is hacked. Sign up for all your emails.
Now final words for the future
- Ignore all mail and pop ups. They are evil
- Never give your credit card number over the phone. Ever
- Your bank will never ask for your details.
- If someone asks you to calm a random number. Refuse. Call the main number at say Apple.com first and get to them that way
- Never believe your caller I’d. It can all be faked.
Good luck until the next hack 🙂