Safe Computing

I think my machine is compromised! What should I do?

Posted in Protect Your Campus, Protect Yourself by on October 27th, 2021

Imagine waking up in the morning to find an intruder living in your house, wearing your pajamas, eating out of your refrigerator, using your bank account, and answering the phone pretending to be you every time it rings. Maybe your initial reaction is to keep the situation to yourself because you don’t want to have to explain to anybody where the intruder got the panda onesie from, but you can’t ignore the fact that an intruder is living in your house. You would probably lock yourself in a room and call for help.

This scenario may seem a little extreme but it is identical to the situation you might find yourself in when your computer gets compromised. However, the longer you wait to fix the issue, the more the compromise may spread beyond your computer and your accounts.

What should you do?

The problem won’t go away until you report and clean up the compromise.

Personal Computer

If this happens on your personal computer:

  • Shut down your computer.
  • Contact a local computer support professional.
  • From another computer or device, change your passwords on all the accounts you’ve logged into from that computer. If you have used campus resources on that computer, you will need to change your campus password and report the incident to S&T IT Security.

Campus Computer

If your campus computer is compromised, follow the steps below:

It is essential that all university faculty, staff, and students should immediately report a security incident to improve the overall security environment.

See UM’s Information Security Mandatory Reporting Requirement Policy>>