Internet Safety for Kids Episode 7 - What to do when you are hacked or got a virus?

Internet Safety for Kids Episode 7 – What to do when you are hacked or got a virus?

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Hi, welcome to Internet Safety for Kids and thank you for joining our program!

As always with our program Internet Safety for Kids, please make sure to watch this episode together when possible, so you all learn and understand these important topics. Don’t allow the adults to say that they already know everything because there will be plenty to learn for them, too!

Let us be very honest with each other. Governments get hacked. Big companies get hacked. Even really good cybersecurity experts get hacked. This shows that it can happen to all of us, and it also shows that it can happen to you and me. Today we will have a look at what you should do in case you get hacked or get a virus, and of course we will also look at what you should not do which is at least as important.

Let us start with what you should not do. You should definitely not ignore it and pretend that nothing has happened. Please keep in mind that when you get hacked or get infected by a cyber virus it does not only harm you. It can also harm others. So, it is important that you act immediately and make sure that the problem gets solved as soon as possible. What you also should not do is use your backup of data until you are sure that the problem is solved, because the problem could spread to your backup and then you will not be able to use your data, right?

What you should do depends on the situation and the problem. Maybe you suspect something is wrong because things are not working the way they should, or you got a notification that someone logged in to your account which was not you. The first thing you must do is stop and think. Also please keep in mind that asking someone you trust for help can be the smart thing to do, and maybe you will learn how to deal with it for the future.

OK, let us say that you got a notification that someone logged into your account and you are sure that this was not you. The first step is to inform the platform that this happened so they can investigate for you and help you to protect your account. Next, you need to change your password and make sure you select a complex and unique password. Did you watch our episode on passwords and multi-factor-authentication? It is always a good idea to keep an eye on your accounts but now you have to pay extra attention. Are there strange activities? Did someone for example send messages you did not send yourself? Things like that are important to notice so you can make sure everyone understands it was not you. Also pay close attention when your account can for example order things online, and report everything that happens which was not done by you. When things get out of control, you could consider deleting your account and make a new one. An important tip: make copies or screenshots of all notifications and actions to make sure you have them when needed!

What should you do when you get infected by a cyber virus? When it is ransomware, it is a complicated matter which we will explain in our next episode, so let us focus on the other viruses. The first thing you have to keep in mind is that most viruses are designed to cause harm and spread to as many devices as possible. So, let us start with disconnecting your internet connection. OK, the virus is still there but your device is no longer connected to the outside world.

When for example your Android device got infected, the smartest and fastest method is to do a complete factory reset, including all data, and after that make sure to install antivirus software before you do anything else. As soon as your device is clean and checked, you can then reconnect your accounts one at a time and restore data from for example your cloud account or backup device. In episode 12 we will have a close look at how to make and restore backups. Remember: do not touch your backup until you are certain that your device is clean, and scan everything with the antivirus software.

With a virus on your computer, you can try to remove the virus with an antivirus software or with some of the special tools which you can find on Older Geeks dot com but that will not always work. A lot of the very advanced viruses are able to hide themselves, so you might have to do a fresh installation of the operating system and all the apps you want to use. As soon as you have installed the operating system, you need to make sure that the first thing you do is install an antivirus software and that everything is scanned before you allow it to be installed on your computer. And as always, do not touch your backup until you are sure that the problem is solved, and your system is clean.

No matter if you got infected by a cyber virus or your account got hacked, it is important that you act immediately because that way you make sure the problem does not get worse than it already is. It can happen to everyone and the most important part is to make sure that you prevent it from spreading. Once you have solved the problem yourself or with the help of someone else, it is also important to think about what happened, and how you can prevent it for the future.

  • Act immediately when you think or know that you are hacked or got infected by a cyber virus.
  • Keep in mind that you are also protecting others by solving this problem immediately.
  • Asking for help from someone you trust can be the smart thing to do.
  • When your account was hacked, make copies or screenshots to make sure you have all details when needed.
  • Do not use your backup until you are sure that the problem is solved because otherwise you could spread the problem to your backup.

Even if you think you did something wrong and that this is the reason that you got hacked or got a virus, I want you to remember something very important. We all make mistakes and what is important is that we learn from those mistakes and make sure we do not make the problem even bigger or make the same mistake again. Please get help when you do not know how to solve the problem and please do not try to ignore it. Learn from it together and you will all be more secure for the future!

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