Information Security at the University of Hawai‘i

Think You've Been Hacked? Here's How to Shake it Off

Compromised accounts happen more often than you think, and it can happen to anyone. Quick identification and response can reduce the harm done to your account and your personal information.

How do you know if you've been hacked?

  • Your friends tell you. They may receive spammy or phishy emails from your account.
  • Your phone tells you. Collection companies calling about nonpayment, data usage higher than normal, and charges for premium sms numbers showing up on your bill are good indicators that you've been compromised.
  • Your browser tells you. Unwanted browser toolbars, homepages, or plugins may appear unexpectedly. You may see lots of pop-ups or webpage redirects. Or, your passwords won't work one day.
  • Your software tells you. New accounts may appear on your devices; your antivirus reports that it's found a virus; seeing fake popups from software you don't remember installing; programs randomly crashing; these are all indicators of a compromise.
  • Your bank tells you. You'll receive messages about insufficient funds due to unauthorized charges, or you'll see unauthorized purchases on your bank or credit card statements.
  • Your mail tells you. You'll receive a notification from a company that has recently suffered a cybersecurity breach.

How do you recover from a hack?

  • Change your affected passwords using an unaffected device. If you're not sure which accounts have been compromised, it is best to change them all.
  • Update your mobile software and apps. Outdated apps increase the likelihood of being compromised.
  • Update your antivirus software. Once that is done, run a complete scan of your computer. Follow the instructions provided in the application to quarantine or delete any infected files.
  • Update your browser software and plugins. Check frequently for new updates and delete any unnecessary plugins.
  • Self-report to credit agencies. If you believe your personally identifiable information has been affected, you don't want to deal with identity theft on top of being hacked.
  • Be prepared with backups. Don't let the next compromise ruin your day. Backup your files frequently. Consider using two separate backup locations: One on an external drive and one in cloud storage, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
  • Stay ahead of the hackers. Check the Have I been pwned website to see if any of your accounts were compromised in a known attack.

Source: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Different Passwords poster

US-CERT Vulnerability Alerts

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) provides the latest updates about current threats and vulnerabilities. You can subscribe to their feed to get the latest updates about ongoing vulnerabilities and other cyber threats.

Visit to learn more.

Don't Fall for Phishing:
Stop. Examine. Ask. Report.
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