Cyber attacks have recently become a very popular problem. So everyone is worried about protecting their data. To prevent your passwords or other important data from being stolen, you have to pay attention to any changes on your computer. Your printer doesn’t work properly and you don’t know what it means, your webcam behaves unusually – we’re going to tell you about 12 important signs that your computer has been hacked and your data and pictures have been stolen.
The antivirus is switched off
Antivirus programs are pretty hard to disable even when you want to. They have special safety protocols that ask you two or even three times if you’re sure that you don’t want the program to work. So it is almost impossible that you turn it off accidentally. The first thing that hackers could do is disable the antivirus so that you can’t detect the intrusion. But you’re smarter than them, right? So as soon as you notice that your antivirus is off, turn it back on and contact a specialist.
You receive fake antivirus warnings
If you see antivirus warnings that look different or unusual, this is a clear sign of a hack. Another bad sign is if you have a new antivirus you didn’t install. However, before you start to worry, check if your old antivirus software was updated. May be, it just looks different now.
Your passwords don’t work
If you can’t access some of your accounts and you’re sure you didn’t change your passwords and forget about it, your computer has most likely been hacked. Fortunately most services have the two factor authentication, so you can restore your passwords by having a code sent to your phone number.
Once you’ve done it, change passwords even for the accounts that apparently haven’t been hacked yet. Tell all your friends NOT to open messages from you and go through the links sent from your accounts.
your number of friends has grown
If you see some people on your social network pages that you don’t know and there are many of them, it’s a clear sign that your computer or at least your account has been hacked. Check the chats with your friends for spam messages.
new icons appear on your dashboard
When you launch your browser and notice new icons on your dashboard, this might be a sign of the infiltration of some dangerous code onto your computer. Don’t run unknown applications unless you want to make the hacker’s job easier. Try to delete them from your computer if you can.
the cursor moves on its own
If you notice that your cursor is moving without your control and it is highlighting something, it means your computer has definitely been hacked. Someone is probably doing something at this very moment. What you should do is disable the internet connection ASAP. This means disconnecting the Ethernet cable or turning off your wireless router until a specialist arrives and fixes the problem.
your printer doesn’t work properly
You might be surprised that cyber attacks not only affects the computer itself but also your peripheral devices. For example, if your printer refuses to print something out, it might be a worrying signal, or you’re just out of paper. The same applies for all other devices connected to your computer.
you’re redirected to different websites
You should be alert if your browser keeps redirecting to different websites. Of course, may be it’s your own fault. Do you remember visiting suspicious looking internet sites? If not, your system might have been hacked. It’s time to call a specialist if you type something into a search engine and instead of google pages you go to another page you don’t know. The same goes for situations when you see too many pop-up windows.
your files are deleted by someone else
This is a 100% sign of a hack. If you see that your folders are empty, don’t panic. There are some tools that can restore deleted files. So this is not the most pressing issue, but the safety of your system is.
your data is on the internet even though you didn’t put it there
You’ve probably heard many stories in the news about celebrities whose photos were stolen and shared with the entire world. This is a terrible situation to be in and this can happen to anyone. It’s just that only celebrity stories end up in the newspapers. Hackers can start blackmailing you threatening to share your info with your friends. First, take care of your credit cards. Call your bank and tell them to block the cards that you have used to pay for something online.
Only after your money is safe, call a specialist that can deal the safety problem. The stolen data can’t be returned. So whatever is online stays online. Try not to store files you don’t want to be stolen from your computer.
there is unusual webcam behavior
Check your webcam indicator. If it is on or blinking, make sure no applications are launched that require a webcam, such as Skype or facetime. If you don’t see a reason for the webcam to be on, reboot the system and check again. If the indicator is on again, you have a problem. Disconnect from the internet and call a specialist.
your computer works very slowly
If even the simplest operation takes your computer a very long time to complete and if you notice a significant drop in the speed of your internet connection, it might mean that someone hacked your computer. First, try to reboot your computer and check the performance after. May be you need a hardware upgrade. If nothing changes, launch the task manager and look for the processes that are eating you up. Shut down all tasks if you can and see how well the computer works. If you experience problems after that, well you already know what you should disconnect and who you should call.
What you should do
So let’s sum up and repeat what you should do.
- Warn your friends and other people to whom you sent emails that your computer has been hacked. Tell them NOT to open messages from you and click on any links from you.
- Tell your bank about a possible leak of your data. Find out how to protect your money.
- Delete all unfamiliar programs and also those you can’t launch.
- Install a reliable antivirus program and scan your system. Some companies make trial versions.
- Change the password on all your accounts.
- If you still feel that the problem is not solved, ask a specialist.