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Whether you accidentally clicked a link in a spam email or were the victim of a phishing attack, discovering you’ve downloaded a computer virus can be unsettling. If you believe your computer has been infected with malware, understanding what you must do to protect your identity is critical. The following blog explores how a San Diego County cyber crime victim lawyer can help you recover your identity and potential compensation for the damages suffered. The following blog explores more about this software and how you can protect your devices.

What Is Malware?

Malware is used to describe malicious software that can infect your computer and take your personal information.

Generally, hackers and cybercriminals will disguise malware as a download, so unsuspecting victims will click on the link, subsequently infecting their computers. Once the virus is on the device, there are several ways it can be used. Most commonly, this technology is used to steal identities and money.

One method hackers use is to track the keys entered by the user to steal usernames, passwords, PINs, and even Social Security Numbers. Known as keylogging, this is a very prominent form of identity theft via malware.

However, these viruses can also allow hackers to view your computer screen, gaining access to your personal information like phone numbers, addresses, and date of birth. This can be sold to other criminals to perpetrate identity theft.

How Can I Prevent This From Happening?

Generally, the best way to prevent malware from infecting your computer is to avoid clicking on suspicious download links or pop-ups. This includes free movie downloads, pop-ups on websites that can trigger automatic downloads, or links in emails from unknown users. Additionally, if you receive an out-of-character message from a friend with a download link, you should confirm the legitimacy, as some hackers will spread their malware this way.

You may also want to consider investing in a computer security system. These programs can detect potentially dangerous websites and links to help prevent malware from infecting your computer. If something is downloaded, the system will fight the virus to protect your device.

What Should I Do if My Identity’s Been Compromised in Sacramento?

If you believe your identity has been compromised because of malware, it’s necessary to take the necessary steps to mitigate potential damages. The first thing you should do is change the passwords to any websites you accessed after the malware was on your device. However, you should use another computer to do this. Next, you’ll need to remove the virus from your computer, which may require professional assistance. Finally, you’ll want to place a fraud alert on your credit report, which prevents accounts from opening in your name, as lenders must confirm your identity first.

In the event accounts are opened in your name before you realize anything’s wrong, you’ll want to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Luckily, the team at Barthel Legal is here to help. We understand how overwhelming it can be to discover your identity has been compromised, which is why we will do everything possible to assist you through these challenging times. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.