While you can’t eliminate the risk of being a victim of a cybercrime, you can control how you react if your identity, accounts, devices or information is compromised. Responding quickly and comprehensively limits the damage from being hacked, facilitates a rapid recovery and provides you with some needed peace of mind.

So, let’s look at common cyber attack scenarios and the steps you should immediately take afterward.

Scenario: After filing your taxes, you get a notice from the Internal Revenue Service stating your return was rejected because a return was already filed using your Social Security Number (SSN). This is a classic case of identity theft. What are your next steps?

  1. Report the SSN theft at IdentityTheft.gov and file a local police report.
  2. Freeze your credit at all major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) to prevent fraudsters from establishing new lines of credit with your identity.
  3. Continue to monitor your existing lines of credit for signs of account fraud.
  4. Keep a record of and close any fraudulent account opened using your SSN immediately. Then report it to the fraud department of the credit card company or bank involved, as well as the major credit bureaus.
  5. Visit the Federal Trade Commission site if you need more information.

Scenario: You start hearing from your contacts saying they’re getting emails from your account asking them to wire money to you, or maybe click on a suspicious link. Chances are a…

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