While it’s not easy to detect if your computer has been hacked (mainly because there’s no change that disguises the hack), you can watch our for changes that do occur AFTER the hacking has happened. Here are the signs to watch out for:
1. Increase of Network Activity
If a hacker wants to control your computer, he or she needs to be connected to it remotely. Once this happens, you will notice that your connection to the internet becomes slower. Moreover, once a computer has been hacked numerous times, it can attack other computers too.
To help determine what programs are using what bandwidth, it would be wise to install a bandwidth monitor program on your computer. If you’re using Windows, employ the netstat command in order to determine remote established network connections and open ports.
2. Changed Passwords
At times, a hacker changes something to one or more accounts. And more often than not, this is your online password. Make sure you activate the forgot password feature so that you can reset your it. If this doesn’t work or if you changed your email, try calling the service provider as they can reset your account.
If you log into your computer and your password doesn’t work, chances are your computer has been hacked. In this case, no password can just change on its own.
3. Access Requests from Unknown Programs
Firewalls and security programs are there to protect your computer from those that are malicious. Hence, if your device is asking access to programs that you don’t know, chances are that it may have been hacked or rogue programs may have been installed. For such programs, it’s best to block their access.
4. Uninstalled Security Programs
A hacker disables firewall, anti-virus and anti-malware security programs to conceal any warnings that would alert you of their existence on your computer.
5.Installation of New Programs
For the possibility of a hacker, here are some programs that may suggest one has been tinkering with your computer:
- Trojans are the most common programs installed by a hacker as this allows them to gain access to a lot of information that’s kept on your computer.
- If you are fond of chatting at IRC, be careful. This is another method for a hacker to get into a computer or remotely control thousands of computers.
- Programs like rogue antivirus programs, malware and spyware may indicate a hacking activity but more likely that your device got infected from downloading an already hijacked page.
6. Spammed Emails
If someone has hacked your email, what he or she will most likely do is to use your account to spread spam or virus. If your family, colleagues and friends would get advertising emails from you that you are not even aware of, your account is already compromised. In this case, you really need to change your password fast.
Note also that it’s possible to spoof emails without hacking the account. If you’ve already changed your password but people still receive emails you didn’t send, your account has definitely been spoofed.
7. Computer Ghost
If a hacker is remotely connected to your computer, he or she can make it do things by itself. Examples of such are moving your cursor or typing something on your screen. Once this happens, don’t just scream “ghost” yet. It means your computer is definitely being hacked.
8. Changed Internet Browser or Toolbar
Changes in your internet browser and search engine provider are not normal. Likewise for a new added toolbar, redirected web page or homepage altering to a different web page. However, these aren’t necessarily immediate signs of a computer hacker. It could also mean that your browser is getting hijacked.
These tips are sure to serve as good warnings should your device get hacked; however, if you additional queries or need help in fixing a hacked PC or laptop or want more security, call us at 480-464-0202.