VULNERABLE Is One Word That Describes Being Hacked
by Roberta B. Turner

It happens more often than not.  My computer was hacked.  We have all types of software and a strong IT department that monitors our server, network and computers but, unfortunately, we were hacked.

We realized it at the time and were able to react instantly.  The first thing we did was shut down our system.  The next was to contact our IT department to see how severe and deep the hacker was able to penetrate my computer. They found software installed on my computer and it was This software gave the hacker the ability to completely control my computer and our system.  I was advised to change everything.

What does change everything mean?  It started with alerting our bank and closing our corporate account and our personal accounts.  Then we had to close our credit cards and have them reissued. We added additional security to our investment accounts and we closed online accounts where we shop, like Amazon. All passwords to every account had to be changed. This process is exhausting but necessary.

It all started with a phone call to my personal cell phone when I was asked to approve a purchase of a new iPhone.  It wasn’t my purchase, and I so advised the person who was identifying himself as a member of the Amazon fraud desk. After a few minutes on the phone, I went to my computer and I watched someone controlling my account on Amazon with their mouse.  Red Alert.  I hung up and called Amazon and was advised by their security team that it was happening all the time and the person I was speaking to was a fraud specialist and even she was hacked.

It took over five days to get back to normal and I am still pending statements to verify that all our information and accounts were not compromised.

I am not sure how they were able to install software on my computer nor have I been given a reasonable explanation other than the hackers are very technical and are excellent in their ability to access your computer and server.  Considering we are a small company, you would think they would have much better targets than us.

In speaking with our accounting firm, we have been advised that we should discontinue the practice of providing bank information for clients to wire payments to our account.  This is an issue for our parent company, Backus Turner International, because many of our clients are international and this is the most efficient way to get paid.

Please take the time to review your own business and personal security measures to make sure you have state-of-the-art systems in place.  It could save you a lot of worry, stress and vulnerability when your accounts are safe and secure. There are many tips on the steps you need to take when you Google being hacked, but many of the sites provide different steps.  Having a strong IT department is where to start regardless of your size.