Can We Find Out If An Account Has Been Stolen? What Can We Do If So?

Today almost everyone has at least one online account of some kind. The normal thing, in fact, is to have several profiles: email, social networks, forums, eCommerce websites, online banking

Managing all those profiles is complicated unless we choose to use a password manager, which we already talked about in previous articles. The use of strong passwords is essential to make things difficult for any attacker who tries to break into our profiles, but, unfortunately, not everyone uses good passwords.

In fact, not only are bad passwords used in a massive way, but they are shared between different services, which means that, if an account is stolen, they can access others that may contain very sensitive information, such as banking information.

How to know if an Account has been Stolen

It is difficult to know because, normally, we can continue accessing the compromised account as if nothing (if the attacker does not change the password, for example). What we can do is try to detect clues that this theft has happened. For example:

  • If we detect strange movements in our bank account, read messages that we have not opened in the mail, activity in social networks that we do not remember having done. we should be alert.
  • If the password is no longer valid, it is an unequivocal sign that someone has changed it and stolen our account.
  • If we receive emails warning of attempts to recover the password of the service that we have not lost, it is that someone is trying to access it. In fact, it is possible that we receive some phishing message to deceive us and that we reveal the access password.

What do we do if our Account has been Stolen?

From Inside they give us a few tips to follow in the event that we verify that an account or online profile has been stolen. The first of them is to contact the platform to try to find a solution. These are the links that indicate us on the web:

  • Social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Twitch.
  • Buy online: Amazon, eBay.
  • Email: Gmail, Outlook.
  • Multimedia content platforms: Netflix, HBO,
  • Others: Google, Apple.

To protect our account (and kick out the spy, if the password has not changed) we must update the password, generating a much more robust one, and it is advisable to activate a second authentication factor.

In addition, we should investigate if we have more compromised accounts, especially if we share a password with which we detect stolen. In that case, we will change the password (we already know, robust and complicated) and, also, activate the second authentication factor if possible.

As we always say, the best advice to avoid these problems is to use common sense to avoid falling into the trap of phishing or social engineering, use good passwords that we will change periodically, and activate two-step authentication.

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