While on one end, the pandemic caused various sectors to take a hit, there was one particular trade that took off, and that was cybercrime. The number of cyber-attacks increased drastically over the past year, and for now, there have been no indications of things getting better in this arena. So it is safe to say that all our computers are at risk of getting hacked.
Hackers obtain unauthorized access to networks and devices to steal personal and financial information, hold your files or system for ransom, and other malicious and illegal intents. If you want to safeguard your computer, you need to amp up the safety measures by erecting firewalls, adding strong passwords, and installing an excellent antimalware to identify, remove, and block all hacking attempts. Yet this is only effective if your system is not already compromised.
Is your computer hacked? Did cybercriminals already penetrate your device? Are all your files compromised?
Running a thorough check of all files and programs on your computer is one way of weeding out malicious programs and content. However, you can identify hacking attempts without running a scan. If you come across any of the signs stated below, then your computer is probably the victim of a hacker prank or worse.
Frequent random pop-ups
If pop-ups are suddenly appearing on your computer screen, asking you to visit unusual sites, claim a reward, or download some program or antivirus.
Slow computer performance
If your programs are lagging a lot, online videos are buffering, website load times have increased, and it is taking too long for various actions to take place, a virus, Trojan, or malware could be the cause.
Programs and apps start crashing
If your computer programs have started to freeze and crash, then your computer is probably infected. If your task manager and antivirus software are crashing, then it is a sign that a virus has taken hold of your critical system files.
Unusual activity on accounts
If you have witnessed any unusual activity on your email or social media accounts, then your device has been hacked. A big indicator is that your friends might complain of receiving unusual messages and emails, or you might find people in your friends’ list whom you did not even add.
Suppose you come across programs in your Task Manager that are running even when you do not remember downloading and installing their software or starting the program. You will find some unusual activity – if a program you never downloaded starts automatically every time you switch on your computer, then your device is probably hacked.
Increased data consumption
If your internet usage has increased from what it was before, even when you are not using it or your desktop PC is inactive. If this is the case, then a malicious software is accessing the internet so the hacker can take control of your computer remotely.
Antivirus shutting down
If your antivirus or its settings are disabled even though you never changed them, it is an indication that your computer is hacked.
Passwords are changed
If you cannot access your accounts as the passwords have been changed without your knowledge, then the reason may be that you are hacked.
Changes in homepage and browser
The most obvious way you know that your computer is hacked is if you see changes on your homepage, new bookmarks or settings in your browser, various downloads you never made, and websites in your browser’s search history that you never conducted.
If there are any indications that your computer or any other device is hacked, or if their performance is not as efficient as before, it is time to get professional help.
Computer Sleuths offers expert software and hardware solutions in Buford. Click here to schedule a free checkup and virus removal.