I know that I’m not the only one that has had an online account hacked and I’m sure everyone still remembers the Heartbleed bug that compromised the security of many websites. A few years ago my Ebay account was hijacked and someone advertised iTunes giftcards for sale. I caught it right away and got Ebay customer support to help me delete the fraudulent activity. I immediately changed my password as well as changing my email and Paypal accounts that had been linked to that account.
It isn’t always easy to know what to do when an aspect of your digital life has been hacked, lost, stolen or hijacked. A group called the Digital Defenders Partnership has put together a Digital First Aid Kit that helps you work through the different actions you need to take when something like this happens. This can be very helpful for librarians as well since we are often digital first responders for patrons.
The kit is broken into sections. Each section moves you through a series of questions about your situation and then gives you ways to mitigate it. The first section deals with establishing secure communication with the provider on the service that has been compromised. This can be tricky if you computer has been compromised by malware. The malware could let someone monitor your communications and keep you from fixing the situation. The second section deals with hijacked accounts and runs you through the steps of determining what has been changed and how to remedy the situation. Section three deals with lost or stolen devices like cell phones and other mobile devices. Section Four covers malware. The last section covers distributed denial of service attacks (DDos) which only affects those with their own website. Although those kind of attacks do affect websites that you may use on a regular basis like Ancestry.com last month.
They also include helpful resources, organizations that can help with your situation, and a glossary at the bottom of the page. The Digital Defenders make a point of saying that this kit isn’t the ultimate solution to digital emergencies but it does give you some solid steps for addressing your problems.