Think You’ve Been Hacked?

The moment you think you’ve been compromised, contact the Daemen IT department (or in the case of a data breach email, change your MyDaemen password, and disconnect the device from the campus network, including unplugging the network cable and turning off Wi-Fi.

What can you do if, despite your best efforts, your account is hacked? And how would you know if it’s been hacked? Evidence that you’ve been hacked is not always obvious. Disruptions to your computer could be minor, leading you to ignore the warning signs and allow the malicious attack to continue.

Look for signs that your account might have been compromised:

  • You get a ransomware message. This is a sudden screen takeover that tells you all your data is encrypted and asks you for a payment to unlock it
  • You get a fake antivirus message. A pop-up message on your computer or mobile device tells you that it is infected. The message pretends to be an antivirus scanning product and is purporting to have found malware infections on your computer.
  • You have unwanted browser toolbars. Your browser has multiple new toolbars with names that seem to indicate the toolbar is supposed to help you.
  • You see frequent, random pop-ups. This widespread sign that you’ve been hacked is also one of the more annoying ones. When you’re getting random browser pop-ups from websites that don’t normally generate them, your system has been compromised.
  • You receive social media invitations or emails from your friends that they didn’t send, or vice-versa. Either you or your friends receive invitations to “be a friend” when you are already connected. Usually, you’re thinking, “Why are they inviting me again? Did they unfriend me, and now they are re-inviting me?” Then you notice the new friend’s social media site has very few recognizable friends and doesn’t contain older posts.
  • Your online password isn’t working. If you are typing in your online password correctly, for sure, and it isn’t working, then you might have been hacked.
  • Antimalware, Task Manager or  Registry Editor is disabled. If your antivirus software is disabled and you didn’t do it, you’ve probably been exploited—especially if you try to start Task Manager or Registry Editor and they won’t start, start and disappear, or start in a reduced state.
  • Your online account is missing money. As in, lots of money. Online bad guys like to transfer everything or nearly everything, often to a foreign exchange or bank. Usually it begins with your computer being compromised or with you responding to a fake email supposedly from your bank or stock trading company. The bad guys log on to your account, change your contact information, and transfer large sums of money to themselves.
  • You receive an official notification about a cybersecurity breach at a place where you’ve done business or have an account. In the case of a data breach, depending on what data was taken companies are required to report the breach to their customers.


  1. If you believe your work computer or Daemen account has been compromised, contact the IT department as soon as possible.
  2. Change your passwords using a clean device.  If you use the same password for multiple accounts, it’s best to change them all.
  3. Back up important files.
  4. Update your mobile software and apps.
  5. Update your antivirus software and run a complete scan.
  6. Update your browser software and plugins.
  7. If your computer is still not working normally, consider doing a complete reformat to ensure all affected software is fixed.
  8. Don’t let an account hack turn into identity theft. Monitor your credit and report the issue to credit agencies if you believe your personally identifiable information has been stolen.
Updated on September 17, 2020

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