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 can’t do things for you.
Has your computer been hacked?
So there’s lots of ways hackers can steal your hard earned money and it all starts by getting your personal data. This can be via a malware or phishing scam, ransomware, or by hacking into your online and social media accounts.
It’s happening all the time, because to hackers it’s easy cash. The statistics are alarming.
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. For comparison, cybercriminals have earned a total of around $600 billion in 2018.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to make your computer completely impenetrable. Hackers will keep on finding 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 steps we can take.
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.
Let’s look at the tell -tale signs that your computer or phone may have been hacked.
11 signs you’ve been hacked (1-6). The warning signs.
- 1. Financial transactions that you don’t recognise. So these are usually with names that sound very plausible for the business you’re in. 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.
- 2. A really slow computer or phone is often a sign that you are not the only user of that 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 a short period of time. This is because your device is working for the hackers in the background.
- 3. Your security software is no longer working or acting 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 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 running. So don’t delete software 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 you notice new software that you didn’t order.
- 5. Random pop ups that are not related to the search you were doing. 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. 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 the device.
Has your computer been hacked? More ways of knowing if your computer or phone is at risk.
To read the rest of this article and to get more details about detecting hacking on any of your devices, click here.
The guide is completely free for business owners and managers.