Computer hacks have become so common that almost everyone has to deal with it, Although most of us have some form of anti-malware software installed, this cannot always offer peace of mind in regards to attacks on our networks, given that cyber-attacks are constantly evolving. Today, cyberattacks are sophisticated, well-orchestrated, and capable of posing severe threats to the personal data of Internet users.
You might wonder why should anyone hack your system? There is a reason.
Hacking is usually a crime. Although it involves electrons, bits, and bytes, the hacker is breaking into your property. His or her goal may be simple malfeasance, as you might see with malware that slows your system for no discernable reason. While in other cases, hacking is the result of intellectual activity, with foreign governments trying to steal data about Americans and corporations. Mostly, though, hacking is a financially-motivated crime. At these times when data is gold, anyone can be at risk of their computer getting breached. With computer hacks being closer than you might think, it is essential to be prepared.
How to Tell If Your Computer Has Been Hacked
The faster you realize and take necessary actions, the less the damage it will cause to you, as well as to others on the same network — family, friends, or co-workers.
Here are 5 signs your computer may have been hacked
1. Random pop-ups
This is one of the most explicit indications of a computer being infected. If you see random pop-ups with false anti-virus messages telling you to hurry and download new software, you’ve probably been hacked, they often flash in sites that usually don’t generate pop-ups. One of the most common side effects of hacking is a sudden decline in performance.
2. Antivirus shutting down
Some types of malware disable your antivirus or anti-malware programs and make it difficult to re-enable them. If you notice that your antivirus has suddenly stopped working and you can’t open the task manager properly, it is very likely that your system has been hacked
3.Fake emails sent from your account
Mass emails being sent from your email account, If a virus has compromised your email, it might be trying to spread further by sending malicious emails to your contacts. It doesn’t automatically mean that your computer has been hacked. However, if the fake email includes your name and email address, it is likely that your system has been infected.
4. Programs you didn’t install show up
A malicious program may be disguised as legitimate software to slip into your computer. Usually, it is done by worms or malware that attach to other software to get installed together as a bundle. So, if you notice an unknown program residing on your system, it’s likely a malicious one.
5. When your passwords no longer work
If you are typing in your online password correctly, for sure, and it isn’t working, then you might be hacked.
Getting locked out of your online accounts might mean that you have fallen into a phishing trap. A common tactic scammers use is to send an authentic-looking email from a bank or any other service you’re signed up for, asking to update your password by clicking the included link. Once you do it, you provide access to your account to hackers.
With so much personal information on your computer and your online accounts, you can’t afford to underestimate the risk of hacking, especially if you own a business. The issue of hacking won’t go away any time soon. Whether you manage a business or are an everyday consumer, it’s important to protect your assets and information with up-to-date anti-malware software.
Here’s what to do if your computer has been hacked:
- Run a full virus scan to detect the malware and viruses infecting your computer
- Review the applications installed on your device. If any developer or vendor doesn’t seem legitimate, uninstall the app right away.
- Change the passwords for your online accounts.
- Then, alter your online behavior (if necessary) and get into better safety habits to enhance your security
- Use a VPN to browse the Internet privately and securely.
- Set two-factor authentication for important online accounts.
- Use a password manager to keep your passwords secure.
- Clear browser cookies regularly.
Never click on suspicious links nor download applications from unknown sources. Don’t wait to get hacked before taking all of the above preventive steps. Instead, consider implementing all of the steps to boost your security now.