If you fall for an email scam, often known as phishing, don’t blame yourself. Every day, fake emails get more elaborate. Cybercriminals use phishing scams as one type of scam to try to acquire your sensitive information.
Phishers attempt to fool you into clicking a link or downloading a file by sending emails that seem to be from a reliable source. You can find yourself following the email’s directions and divulging your passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security number if you don’t notice the email is phony. Here are seven actions you can take right now if you’ve fallen victim to a phishing scam to safeguard your compromised data and protect yourself.
Steps to Take Now If You’re a Victim of a Phishing Attack
After being a victim of a phishing assault, the first thing you should do is take a few deep breaths to calm down and clear your head before deciding on the next course of action. Remember that many phishing tactics exist, therefore this specific attack does not imply that your identity has been stolen.
1. Disconnect Your Device
Start by cutting off your device’s internet connection if you think you downloaded malware or clicked on a phishing link in error. If you use a wired connection, simply disconnect the internet cable from your PC or laptop. Find your WiFi settings and disconnect from your network if you’re using WiFi to access the internet. You may simply go to your WiFi router and turn it off if you can’t find your network settings.
To lessen the chance of the malware spreading to other devices on the network, it’s crucial to immediately disconnect your device from the internet. Additionally, it will stop someone from remotely accessing your device or using it to send out confidential information. So take action now!.
2. Make a Backup
After successfully cutting off your internet connection, you should back up your data in case it is lost during the phishing attack’s recovery procedure. Protecting sensitive data, papers, and priceless items like family photos and other irreplaceable stuff is crucial.
Using an external hard drive or a cloud storage service like DropBox or Google, you can perform a complete backup of your content.
3. Change your passwords
If you followed a link to a website that looked like your bank, email provider, or social media account, for instance, go in to the legitimate website and reset your password.
Change the passwords for the other accounts as well if you use the same password across several accounts, which you shouldn’t do. Change your security questions and password hints as soon as possible, and check your profile or recent activity to see whether the phisher has harmed your account or made any purchases using it.
4. Check your computer for malware and viruses
Checking your computer for malware and viruses is a good idea whether you downloaded an attachment or clicked on a link. Your computer can be examined by antivirus software, which can then notify you of any potentially harmful files. If you’re still unsure whether your computer is malware-free, think about getting assistance from a professional.
5. Watch for the warning signs of identity theft.
You should be on the lookout for indicators of identity theft if you’ve disclosed any sensitive information, including your Social Security number or financial information. Check your bank and credit card statements carefully first, looking for any withdrawals or purchases that you didn’t authorize.
Furthermore, you can request that your bank notify you of any suspicious behavior. Next, disclose the compromise of your information to the three main credit reporting companies to safeguard your credit score. In order to ensure that your reports are accurate and do not include any new credit lines (that you did not apply for), order your credit report from each of the three agencies.
6. File a report with FTC
Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission if you see any indications that your identity may have been taken (FTC). Whether your information was stolen from your credit card account, utilities, bank and savings, or health insurance, the FTC will walk you through the procedures to take.
To make it more difficult for thieves to charge you with crimes using your identity, you should also post a fraud alert on your credit report. The warning is valid for 90 days, but if you require additional time, you can extend it.
7. Set up a Fraud Alert
The majority of the big credit agencies, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, let you add a free 90-day fraud alert on your credit report. They must notify the other two bureaus on your behalf after triggering this fraud alert with one of them, as required by law.
By adding this extra step, the attacker will find it significantly more challenging to create a new account in your name. By adding this extra step, the attacker will find it significantly more challenging to create a new account in your name.
8. Get in touch with the spoofed organization.
Whether it was your email provider, your electricity provider, or your workplace, report the phishing scam to the business that the phisher impersonated. Inform the business of your new password change and abide by their guidelines for protecting your account and personal data.
You might need to get a new card if you disclosed financial details and cancel your current one. Additionally, you can report the specifics of your encounter to the Anti-Phishing Working Group or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center in order to help others from falling for phishing scams.
We recommend you to take action immediately to safeguard yourself from further phishing scams given the time and difficulty required in being a victim. When checking your inbox, exercise caution and wait a moment before opening any suspicious emails, clicking any links, or downloading any files.
Take some time to carefully review any emails that appear to be coming from your bank, credit card company or social network accounts. Go straight to the website to log in, or give the business a call to find out if the email is genuine, rather than disclosing any personal information we hope you liked this blog of Recon Bee which is on Steps to take after falling for an email scam or phishing.