Ask Lexie! How to Fix a Hacked MacBook

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mac-hacked

Last Updated: Jul 21, 2016 @ 2:18 pm

Hi, I’m Lexie, and I work for ExpressVPN’s security team.

ExpressVPN receives lots of emails and comments from users and readers about our blog posts and guides. Some of these inquiries may be useful to others, so, with your permission, we may publish your question with my response here.

If you have an issue with ExpressVPN that needs an immediate response, please contact our 24/7 support center.

Down to business, then! The very first Ask Lexie question comes from Sandy, who’s been having trouble with a hacker:

Dear Lexie… My MacBook Pro Has Been Hacked

I have a brand new MacBook Air, and I require a VPN, to protect me from being hacked.

I have been hacked in the past, so I subscribe to Norton 360 and follow the Comcast recommended security settings.

Somehow, I have been hacked again. I tried to install ExpressVPN, but it will not finish loading. I am also having difficulty connecting to the LA, New York, and the England servers. I spoke with one of your techs for about an hour, but I can still not run ExpressVPN.

Whoever is behind the hack is very good, they have managed to hack into my health providers and all of my banks. I had just gotten a new account and was hacked within the first week.

What can I do to resolve my issues and prevent from being hacked again?

Hoping for a resolution,

Thanks,

Sandy

Lexie Says: A Strong Password Is Important!

Dear Sandy,

Thank you for writing to me. This is very a strange case that you are experiencing. I have to assume when you say “hacked,” that either someone is accessing your online accounts, your data is being stolen, or your computer has become unusable.

As such, I’d recommend the following things:

Step 1: Go to the Apple shop and ask them to revert your computer back to its original state (reinstall Mac OS X). This will remove all viruses or malware that might be on your system.

Step 2: Set a good password on your computer and don’t tell anyone what it is. Also, don’t write it down!

Step 3: Install a password manager on your computer. Since you are on Mac OS X, I’d recommend you download Google Chrome and install the LastPass extension. 1Password is also very good, but it costs 50 USD for the license.

Step 4: Using the password manager, change all the passwords to your online services, starting with email, then social media, bank accounts, your ExpressVPN account… Change everything! This is also a good time to review your security settings. For example, I recommend that the email address you enter is one that you, and only you, control.

Step 5: Activate Two-factor Authentication on services that support it. Two-factor Authentication is a very important security setting for your email account, social media, and banking!

If you’re having problems with your ExpressVPN connection, like the app not starting, or difficulty connecting to a server, contact support immediately!

Let me know how you get on with my advice, or if you have any more problems.

Lexie.

Send Your Privacy and Security Questions to Lexie

Do you have a question you’d like me to answer? Leave it in the comments and I’ll try and answer it on the next Ask Lexie blog 🙂

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