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Have You Ever Been Hacked?

Those in the security industry say that being hacked "is a matter of when, not if?"

Let's face it many of us have had at least one account hacked at one time or another perhaps on Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, a website, or even worse, a financial account.

Many of us have software to protect our precious information, but somehow the hackers keep getting in, what to do?

There are plenty of suggestions and advice on the Internet, but who to turn to?

In a published article last fall, PCMag.com suggests its top three security suite choices for the New Year: Norton Internet Security (2013), Norton 360 Version 6.0 and Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete.

This brings us to this week's question,

"Have You Ever Been Hacked?"

Tell us what your experience was like and how you protect your information from being exposed in the comments below.

Gayla January 21, 2013 at 05:39 PM
yes, yes, I have....my email was hacked a while ago...by spambots i think....no major damage...just a ton of random emails sent to my address book..."want to buy some vacation property" type things... :/
Aaron January 21, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Software solutions (such as anti-virus & firewalls) will not prevent users from being hacked or otherwise tricked into being taken advantage of. A minority of most hacks today are because software is not regularly patched or up-to-date. The majority of most "hacks" are social engineering techniques that trick users into executing malicious code (malware designed to bypass anti-virus filters) on their computers or providing their login credentials to a spoofed website created to mirror a web site users regularly visit. If we're talking about software, I believe the most effective way users can limit their exposure to having their various accounts taken over is by avoiding password reuse and choosing complex passphrases instead. Even better, they may rely on password managers to remember these complex passwords/passphrases for them. Software such as 1Password, KeePass or LastPass will not completely prevent users from being victims to frequent hack attempts but will provide them with a secure place to store passwords to commonly accessed websites thereby reducing their need to memorize complex passwords or using a single easy-to-guess password across multiple sites. Software aside, the best defense against becoming a victim of hackers is educating yourself on avoiding such events.
Patricia Saye January 21, 2013 at 11:30 PM
My banking account was hacked not long ago
Frank Jones January 22, 2013 at 01:30 AM
To expand upon Aaron's comments...The internet is not a safe place and any computer user should be skeptical when surfing the internet. Safe use includes: 1. Keep all you software up-to-date. 2. Maintain and keep an anti-virus program running at all times. 3. Keep a firewall enabled. 4. Never click a link included in an email from your bank or financial institution. Instead, enter the known URL into your browser. 5. Check the URL in the address bar to make sure you're actually at the desired website. 6. Make sure your wireless devices - phone, iTouch, etc - have anti-virus software. 7. Limit your banking and financial transactions on your phone as the anti-virus isn't as good. 8. Download free software at your own risk. Free software may contain key-loggers or other software to gather your confidential information. 9. Go to unknown websites at your own risk. Skillfully designed websites may exploit known weaknesses in your software. By simply visiting a bad site, you may get infected or hacked. 10. Use a system to create passwords for your various online accounts. Use something that makes sense to you but that will be different for every site. For instance...Create a system that uses a "prefix", "middle" and "suffix". The prefix could be special characters. The middle could be a set of 4 or 5 characters. The suffix could be part of the website name. For instance, Wells Fargo could be &^19klWF while Bank of America could be &^19klBOA
Crissy W. January 22, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Yes, my emails were hacked about a year ago. Spam had been sent to anyone I had ever emailed. Including my friends, my son's teachers, and business related emails. Also, our bank account had a weird $9.00 charge for a nonexistent online sporting goods retailer. We called our bank and had it taken care of luckily.
Debra Evans January 22, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Thanks Aaron and Frank for the helpful tips. My e-mail was hacked last month. My online banking acct. was hacked into last week, setting up payments to be made that would have drained my checking acct. Thankfully, it was caught before that happened. It was a big hassle, had to close my checking acct. I had for 0ver 30 years.
qbsystems January 24, 2013 at 02:08 PM
yes yes yes, my email acct was hacked, my credit card was hacked , once thru Best Buy, once thru WalMart.com. The detective on the walMart case told me to use a special credit card used only for online purchases with a small limit.
Philip Beck January 24, 2013 at 05:40 PM
I just spent the last six days (I know honey, you actually did most of the grunt work :)) getting my computer cleaned up. The geeks at Fry's didn't have an answer why Windows locked-up (maybe an update from MS got interrupted during the update?). My HP desktop was scrubbed of everything and Carbonite in restoring my files now. Acquiring all of the programs I need is a hassle too. The re-store is taking 2-3 days. Good luck everyone. BTW, when you get Carbonite, tell them I sent you. Thaaaaaanks...
Philip Beck January 24, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Also, in 2012 my Bell South email address was hacked, or whatever, so I changed my email to Firefox. The author is right though. It's when, not if.
Liz Kennedy (Editor) January 25, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Greetings Patchers! Thanks for the comments and/or suggestions - getting hacked is no fun - it's happen to me as well - keep your comments coming - Liz Kennedy, Editor

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