Being a victim of hacking is often an anxiety-inducing experience and taking steps to mitigate the damage as quickly as possible is critical to ensuring the safety of your data and personal information. Here, the computer forensics team at Atlantic Data Forensics explains what to do if one of your devices has been hacked.

Isolate Your Device from the Rest of the Company’s Systems

If your device is communicating on the company network, a hacker will be able to easily attack other devices and steal further data and information. To prevent this, turn off the Wi-fi connection and remove the network cable, if applicable. Do not rely on software to notify you whether the Wi-fi is unconnected—a hacker’s malware can make it seem that certain functions are turned off when they are not. Instead, most devices have a switch that can be clicked to turn the Wi-fi connection on or off.

Shutdown the Device and Remove the Hard Drive

The only way to prevent further damage to your data and files is to ensure your device is shut down and its hard drive is removed. Always shut the device down before removing the hard drive, and be sure to handle the hard drive carefully, as you will need to recover any important data from it. If you do not feel comfortable removing your hard drive yourself, a computer forensics professional—such as those at Atlantic Data Forensics—is capable of safely removing it for you.

Backup Important Files from Your Hard Drive

Before backing up your hard drive, ensure the hard drive no longer poses a threat to your security—this can be ensured through the use of an anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-rootkit scanner that can detect and remove any infection from the files on your hard drive. Once the files have been scanned and cleaned, a backup can be created on a new, clean hard drive.

Wipe the Old Hard Drive

Once you have successfully backed up your hard drive, you will need to erase the data from your old hard drive to ensure it poses no threat to your device or network. There are a wide variety of secure disk erase utilities available to completely wipe your hard drive, and the process can take several hours or more to complete. While it may seem time consuming, this is the best way to ensure the threat is eliminated entirely.

Contact a Computer Forensics Team Immediately

When one of your devices has been hacked, time is of the essence—precious data, personal information and more can be compromised in a matter of minutes. Ensure the situation is handled quickly, discreetly and thoroughly by enlisting the help of Atlantic Data Forensics, one of the nation’s leading computer forensics firms. With years of experience handling phishing attacks, data breaches, malware infections and more, the digital forensic professionals at Atlantic Data Forensics have the tools and resources necessary to restore order and safety to your network and devices. If you believe you have been the victim of a hacking attack, do not wait—contact us today to get the help you need.