How do you know you've been hacked?
Often, the first sign of hacking is that your friends get email that you did not send. The email has your 'from' address. If may reference specific details of the relationship between you and your friends. And it will most likely contain a link to some sort of login page for a service that you use (such as PayPal or a bank website). The login page is faked - the hackers are trying to trick your friends into entering their login information.
Another warning sign is unexpected activity in one or more of your online accounts. Someone is using your accounts, and it's not you!
Most often, hackers obtain information about you by downloading a virus onto your computer. In addition to your e-mail info, the virus could potential find lots of other things: bank account info, account login info, confidential business documents, etc.
What To Do If You've Been Hacked
If you suspect you have been hacked, there are several things you should do right away:
Run a virus scan on all computers that you use.
Change all of your passwords for every online account.
Contact your bank, and monitor your bank balances and credit card statements. Your bank will advise you to change your bank accounts and credit cards, and sign up for an identity protection service if you don’t already have one.
Consider reporting this to the FBI cyber-crime unit, and see if they have any additional advice:
Being hacked can be very serious. Please don't take it likely.
If you'd like to know more about avoiding hackers, and "staying safe on the Internet," consider taking my online course: