Has your computer been hacked?
We all get frustrated with slow laptops, or when computers start doing strange things. But here’s another way to look at it.
What if your laptop is being slow just because it’s been hacked? And in the background it’s doing lots of things for the hackers which is why it doesn’t have the time to do gthe things you want it to do. We see examples of this every week.
We all get used to web browsers remembering stuff for us and simply asking for our online password to keep gthings moving. We are all in a hurry but sometimes just one click can cost you dearly down the track. This guide will show you the signs that your computer has been compromised. The same applies to your phone.
So learn the tell tale signs that someone else is using your device and some of the the steps you can take to stop the hackers. Just a few simple steps will help you to protect your email address, your online accounts and help to keep all your business data secure.
Has your computer been hacked?
So there’s lots of ways hackers can steal your data, your credit card details and your hard earned money.
It all starts by getting your personal information and personal data. These days there are several techniques most commonly used. It can be via a malware, phishing scams, ransomware, or by simply hacking into your online and social media accounts.
Don’t think this is a random event. It’s happening all the time, because to hackers it’s easy cash. The statistics are alarming.
It’s important to put the scale of the probelm into perspective. Cybercrime is more profitable than the Global trade in illegal drugs. (Source: Cybersecurity Ventures).
The profit from the illegal drug industry amounts to around $400 billion annually. By comparison, cybercriminals earned a total of $600 billion in 2018 alone.
The cost of a data breach is horrific and that’s before we look at the fines that may be handed out for allowing it to happen in the first place.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to make your computer completely impenetrable.
Hackers will keep on finding new ways to steal money from you, your business and potentially your clients.
Even large organisations with full time cyber security teams cannot 100% guarantee they can stop this from happening. But there are some very sensible steps we can take tio at least reduce the risks.
If you make it really difficult for hackers to break into your computer by following standard security steps, you’ll decrease the risk of them accessing your various banking and billing systems. So we can all play our part in keeping the hackers at bay if we give it just a little bit of our time and attention.
First, let’s look at some of the the tell-tale signs that your computer, or indeed your phone, may have been hacked.
11 scary signs your business has been hacked (1-6).
- 1. Financial transactions that you don’t recognise.
So these are usually with names that sound very plausible for the business you’re in or the activities you carry out.
Quite often they are of such low value to start with that it’s not worth spending 45 minutes trying to find out what it is. £6.50 on coffee? Sounds like you right?
- 2. A really slow computer or phone is often a sign that you are not the only user of the device.
We all know that over time your devices will get slower and slower. So what we are talking about here is a sudden and noticeable slowing down of the device in quite a short period of time.
This is because your device is now working for the hackers in the background and not just for you. Your operating systems will be simply overloaded by the increased workload.
- 3. Your security software is no longer working or acting very strangely.
If your computer has been infected, the Malware will also attack your security systems. So if your anti-virus software keeps being disabled or is behaving in an irregular way, it is often a sign that your device has been infected.
Has your computer been hacked? Don’t let the hackers steal your device.
- 4. Keep a look out for software installs or add-ons that you don’t remember asking for.
The easiest way to check your systems for threats of this kind is by using Task Manager for Windows and Activity Monitor for macOS. Both of these will show you what’s actually running.
Be careful though, don’t rush to delete software you don’t recognise. You may need a bit of help from an IT specialist unless you are skilled in this area and know what you are doing.
However, it is vital that you do raise questions with your IT department if any of the above apply to you. This is particularly true if you notice new software that you didn’t order. We are all in a rush these days and it is all too easy to just say yes to an update request just because you don’t have time to stop and think about it.
- 5. Random pop ups that are not related to the search you were doing are another indicator something is wrong.
These will be infrequent and completely random. Do not click on any pop up that fits this description. A virus scan is always a good starting point in these situations.
- 6. Your system settings have been changed without you asking for it. Similarly to unwanted software add-ons and browser extensions. Hackers could deploy malware that changes your computer settings, allowing the infection to cause more and more damage.
We don’t tend to change our system settings on a regular basis. So if you do see a change, don’t assume you did it and simply forgot. This is a clue that someone else is trying to take over your device.
My computer has been compromised. More ways of knowing if your computer has been hacked.
To read the rest of this article and to get more details about detecting hacking on any of your devices, click here.
Has your computer been hacked? This guide is completely free for business owners and managers.