Emergency Steps to Take During a Severe Online Attack

When you are in the middle of a severe online attack it can be difficult to know how to protect yourself. Fortunately, there are things you can do to better protect your safety, your online data and your wellbeing.

Be safer by taking the following steps:

Act Now

Think about your physical safety

If details about your location, such as your address, are being circulated online then you may be at risk.

Review and remove online content

Look at the content you have online and, where possible, take steps to remove data that can be used to locate you or contact you. Review photos and videos and take down any personal images that you think could be used to harass or intimidate you. See our guide to securing online data for more details. 

Account Security

Online abusers may try to hack your accounts. Take steps to secure your online accounts and the data within them by using long unique passwords, using a password manager, and turning on two-step verification. See our guide to secure accounts for more information.

Speak with others

If you are being targeted, it can be helpful to speak with others about the harassment you are facing. This can include family and friends as well as your editor and work colleagues. You may want to ask a trusted colleague or friend to monitor your accounts so you do not have to. See below for more resources.

Make your social media accounts private and go offline

If possible, and if you feel comfortable doing so, you may wish to make your social media accounts private and step away from the internet until the abuse has died down.

Share With Your Network

Additional Resources

Learn more about what to do during a severe online attack with the following resources: