To start this off, it’s important to note that if you do discover any of the following signs, you should contact Nerd Crossing immediately. Being hacked is serious business and it could cost you big time. Your computer could break, costing you all your files. Your bank account could be wiped out. Your personal information could be sold online. We’ve discussed how to protect yourself from malware and viruses (link), but here is how you can actually tell if your computer has been hijacked.
1 – You’ve been redirected. While clicking on a link from your search engine, you may go to a completely different site. This means you’ve been compromised. The main reason this could happen is:
2 – You have an infected toolbar. Toolbars that pop up and are not part of your browser software have been planted in your system to take you to particular sites.
3 – You get an anti-virus message on your computer from a company that you have not installed. Hackers plant viruses on your computer then pop these up so you get scared, go to their site, and then buy their “software”.
4 – You’re spamming people. If your friends get emails from you about certain libido pills, Nigerian princes or the like, then your computer or email has been hacked. If this happens, run a virus scan, change your passwords and delete unwanted applications.
5 – So many popups!! The only people that enjoy frequent popups are hackers and scammers. If you’re getting more popups than usual, your system has likely been infiltrated.
6 – Your password has been changed or your friends are getting personal emails from you that you didn’t send. This means someone has gone into your account to get information about you or your friends. First, let everyone know that your account has been compromised and to not respond. Second, get in touch with the web service that has been hacked and let them know what happened.
7 – Your anti-malware or anti-virus software has been disabled. This is a big sign that someone has broken into your computer system. If this happens, please get in touch with a professional Nerd and we can help restore your system.
8 – Ghost mouse! Does your mouse move when you’re not touching it? Turn off your computer, get onto another one, and change all your online passwords and account information. Then call a Nerd right away.
9 – Unwanted software. Frequently check your applications to make sure you don’t have software that you didn’t download. Sometimes, unexpected software will be connected to a wanted application, so do your research before you delete.
If you’ve discovered a hacker in your computer system, please contact Nerd Crossing immediately and we can work with you to make sure your files are safe and hacker-free.