So my boyfriend and I had a cyber attack Event that lasted a week or more. It’s hard to say because it is a sort of assault that you are trying to constantly problem solve your way through. Well, my brother and I were problem solving our way through. My boyfriend and his girlfriend are not tech savvy in the least.
That isn’t to say I know many people who Are tech savvy enough to figure out how to get out of what we went through. According to my other brother (from another mother) who is a computer programmer it is pretty much like I had suspected as the event continued… this was no malware issue. But I suppose that could have been the beginning. He said that there are hackers using ‘legit’ programs that are damn sophisticated to find any weakness in your system, get in, and basically spread through everything where they can then take control. And it is pretty automated and they do have essentially a hell of a lot of control.
We tried re-installing windows entirely. We hard booted our phones, numerous times… especially when the hackers had locked me out of the phones so I could no factory resent inside it. When we did get in- I didn’t link to the internet, connect to my back up, link to Google… and basically you use the damn thing and it was ‘infected again’. As was every other damn thing in the house.
The shit this person could do was annoying as hell to attempt to fix, and then fix and then fix some more. Every time I figured out what they did to my phone and took it off… BOOM something else. I knew they were changing all my permissions and found an app to track that but they had something fast to put them right back in place. But I could delete any app modified aside from the essential Samsung apps. With those I had to disable in any human way possible. Anyway, didn’t matter because it would just start all over again. You can’t fight a program that is faster than you can do things.
First I want to say We did not stop this (assuming it is over and not a lull). I like to think the last few things we did actually did something but I highly doubt it since I am not even finished securing our system. They stopped playing with us. My brother said this sort of Cyber assault is like a game. One generally they do for fun. Not fun for the victim whose privacy is invaded and lives put on hold and with me being a writer/blogger and such- sort of an issue. And my sister-in-law doing online courses- an issue. So this has a cost. An actual money cost too. But apparently to the cops… not a crime. Dicks.
So the hackers just maliciously toy with people for funsies and then stop when they are bored. Generally… they do not cross the line into theft and identity theft… but Sometimes do- so you do have to do all the due diligence there as well. And ONLY then will the cops do a damn thing.
I am not sure that is the program our hacker used since they stalked us for Years. But they did have something that gave them fast almost automated control of our systems. And I know what kept showing up on my phone- this vr gear uninstalled when I was in an area it couldn’t reach. And other strange things. Regardless, don’t care What they did, I saw What they were doing to my systems and phone and it was hard to play catch up all day by myself.
So what we did do after we started figuring out the problem at hand:
Obviously you need secure emails that you can actually verify. I do not have the ones I want yet. But I did learn a thing or two about securing Gmail accounts. And it Is NOT with your phone or a secondary recovery email- because, damn, someone can remove those in 2 damn seconds. So if you want to actually prevent someone from taking over your account I would do this before. Because, yeah, some of my accounts are way too compromised to touch again.
I like all of these options at the same time now, obviously, because I am insanely paranoid. Obviously, your phone and a recovery email should be set up but I am all for back ups to those. Anyway, if you use Gmail there are some good options. And if you Do you have to consider you Google Drive and All the other stuff you are trying to preserve here.
- Back up codes: Google will give you a list of back up codes you can use to log in (print them off – write them down. Whatever. Don’t them in anything though as that would be moot)
- Use an Authenticator App– and you scan the QR code to set it up. Then when you use it, it will give you a code you have to impute in a short amount of time to access your account.
- A Security Key like the Titan Security Key which you can use for all your Gmail accounts if you have more than one and other things like Facebook. (This is my favorite choice since it is entirely external). And they are super useful- I am still checking all that out. But I definitely locked down my emails and Facebook.
Change your router settings
One thing I do is change the default password/Username and Wifi Password. I forgot to last time when the were changing our router due to system updates. I have been under the weather due to my vestibular disorder.
Anyway, there are a whole lot of tweaks to be done to your router. I will just say there are a lot of things I knew how to do and just didn’t see the need. And now there are even more things I know how to do.
So read these and check out their ideas and tips:
How to Enhance Your Home Wireless Network Security
How to Secure WiFi at Home (17 Tips)
One thing I don’t think they mention is a dual router system. A lot of people do not like the lack of security in their providers routers and have a second hidden router. And I guess there a lot of devices to add security to your router that just plug into it- I did see a lot of those. But personally, there is a snazzy router I have my eye on because of its internal security system.
Set up a VPN
I didn’t have this since I had to pay extra and I am disabled so, yeah, fixed income here. But I do now. I just really do not want to go through all that again. Anyway, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an online service that can help you hide your IP address so basically right now I think mine shows I am somewhere in the US.
By the way, this doesn’t do a thing, again, in the Middle of a cyber hack but would be a good idea Prior to one.
In general, do not always keep the WiFi on
Not always possible in some homes. I do things like disconnect the main computer from the router after I am done with it. And my laptop when not in use is either shut right down or the Wi-Fi is turned off. Often even my phone right now the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, camera, microphone and location are off unless I require them to be on- but obviously that would be the case for me right now. Hell, often the phone is off. People have systems to cut off Wi-Fi time and it is in a lot of parent control devices- and in the parent control options in your router as well.
A serious virus checker
I was using Norton because it was free due to a data breach a bit back- their gift for that breach. But I don’t know, I have heard of better since then. And used better while enduring this. So far I like Avast. And you can get that VPN through them and secure your phone at the same time. The reason I like it is because they have some seriously good tools that can help when you are on the computer and/or other devices. But I mix and match with my options. I have something different for the computer and something else for our devices.
Secure your phone and any device going in and out of your secure network
Of course your phone and tablet and such is going out and about with you and then back home. So if it were to get compromised the whole system could be. Likely what happened to us. Anyway, it makes sense to lock down that vulnerability with a anti-virus program, malware detector and VPM of its own. Most of these systems to protect your house these days do also offer mobile devices as part of their packages. And you can install on a certain amount of devices- the ones that are Mobile would be the best- in and out of your network.
I also do not keep Bluetooth on or that NFC. I use them, just do not keep them on.
Secure smart devices on their own guest network
I have always known and heard about how easy it is to hack smart devices. Well, we read in our research that it is best to combine them on their own guest network due to this vulnerability. If you read a lot of the security advice it says to shut down a lot of the routers accessibility to ‘easy’ connections to smart devices and ‘plug and play’ options. Basically, this is just an added step to that. You add them to your system by address but not in your main network but rather a separate guest one. So if it is hacked that doesn’t affect the entire network. Different passwords and such.
Sites to check out:
‘;–have i been pwned?
Identity Theft Checker
How secure is my password?
I’m not going to say with would help if you get the sort of hacks that can happen only that it will make you a less welcome target and it help you hold onto some of those online assets so the damage may be less.
But if you do get hack there is the site that tells you where to go on the credit bureaus to such them down and also it does also give some ideas for free identity theft protection so you will get alerted about a breach: Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection Guide
In our situation though…
Anyway, my boyfriend and I have a bit of a different situation that just the cyber attack, which is bad enough. Trust me, it has seriously getting on my last nerve. I can do fine without the computer or any tech but others in this house can’t, it seems. Also, I do have things that will die a slow death if I Do not go online to attend to them – so not cool. And then the money we had to put into securing the system and monitoring for identity theft- yeah, we don’t have Any of that in our budget. So this person is a dickward. A bag of rotten, moldy dicks.
Also, though, Whoever this is has been stalking our social media/google accounts and so forth for some time in a very creepy in-depth way. I mean Right UP in our business. So clearly we know them. And don’t know they are such a creeper. And that just makes That worse. I mean, it is creepy AF stuff, man. A complete violation of our privacy.
Get Cyber Safe
So I highly recommend you get cyber safe because the cops are not going to do a damn thing. Unless your hacker crosses a legal line and then I suppose they will help but even then all the problems associated with identity theft you want to have already prepared for (Identity theft watch to react Fast, shut down your bureaus fast, and identity theft protection in some amount). Because, sure, the cops will try to do something but that doesn’t mean they will succeed. And you still have to deal with the fallout. Having worked in the financial industry for over a decade I can tell you it can take years and sometimes many years to sort out identity theft on your credit.
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