Unfortunately, computer hacks are all too common these days and although this is quite annoying when it comes to your own personal computer, the consequences can be even worse if your business or professional computer is hacked. And it’s not just the amateur hackers who are trying to be a nuisance, nowadays cybercriminals are smart, sophisticated and coordinated and they seek to cause maximum damage by stealing or altering sensitive information.
In fact, it’s estimated that there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds – that’s a lot of cybercrime! But at first it can be difficult to know if your computer has been affected, especially if you cannot recognize the signs. This is why we have developed this guide. If you notice one or more of the following, your computer may have been hacked and you must resolve the problem as soon as possible for things to work properly again.
- You continue to receive random pop-ups
When using your computer, have you started to notice frequent pop-ups? Although you occasionally have advertising or a live chat window on your screen, this should not be a regular occurrence, especially if the images or text appear to be very polluted. This is a sure sign that something is going on and you should consider cleaning your device and improving your security systems.
- Your passwords no longer work
If you tried to log into your user account or any other program and site that you use frequently but were denied access, it could be because you were hacked. Fortunately, many platforms will have systems in place where you can report the problem and quickly change your password. In this case, try to give him a password as strong as possible. This means it takes more than eight characters, using a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and characters if the platform allows it.
- There are programs or user accounts that you have not installed
Have you noticed the appearance of new user accounts on your computer or new programs that you know you haven’t installed? This may be a sign of hacking. Not only that, but if you start to notice that unwanted tools have been added to your browser, it can also be a red flag.
- Someone is trying to access your accounts
One of the advantages of most platforms today is that they are security oriented and will often warn you of suspicious behavior. For example, if someone tries to log into your emails or Facebook page from a strange location or from a new device, you will often receive an alert asking if it is you. If not, you can report the problem immediately. So if you receive an alert that someone is trying to log into your accounts, make sure you act quickly.
- Your antivirus software keeps shutting down
Often, your antivirus software will appear every time you turn on your computer, it may run updates or check for problems. Otherwise, you may have to open the program manually and run a scan. Whatever the case, if your antivirus software continues to stop or no longer seems to be doing its job, it could be a sign that your computer has been hacked and that criminals are trying to shut down your defenses.
- You have a strange spike in traffic
Have you noticed a strange spike in traffic to your website? As strange as it may seem, it could be a sign that someone is hacking or has already hacked your site through your device. If you regularly monitor your statistics and traffic, this should be fairly easy to spot and process as quickly as possible. Remember that if you have launched large advertising campaigns or other promotions, this could be the reason for the increase, so before you panic, first make sure that the increase in traffic does not depend on your own marketing efforts.
- Fake emails or social media invitations have been sent from your accounts
Has anyone you know reported receiving strange communications from your accounts? You may receive emails from you that you did not send or you may have received strange invitations on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. If someone you know warns you that there have been strange messages from your accounts, this is another sign that your computer has been hacked and you should report the problem and change your passwords immediately.
- Confidential data has been disclosed
Has anyone approached you knowing confidential information? Perhaps a colleague, employee, or even someone on the Internet has expressed knowledge of sensitive information that you know is well stored on your computer or files. It is a foolproof sign that an unauthorized person has accessed your device or files.
- Your computer continues to crash
There is nothing more frustrating than crashing your computer, especially when you are working. But unfortunately, this is inevitable. But if this continues to happen frequently, so often in fact that it’s almost impossible for you to use your device, it’s a major red flag. You may need to take your computer to clean it, after that you need to install new security systems and malware to try to keep your device safe in the future.
Could you spot the signs of a computer hack?
Hacking your computer or one of your systems is also impractical and in the current GDPR climate, this can problems for you or your business. As such, being aware of the red flags and how to spot the signs is the best way to arm yourself and make sure you react as quickly as possible in the event of a security breach.
Above are nine of the most common signs that someone is trying to access your device or information. If you notice any of the above, it is essential that you act as quickly as possible, especially if your computer contains a lot of sensitive information. Once your device has been backed up, cleaned and working again, you need to invest in the best possible security systems to prevent this from happening in the future.