Cybersecurity is one of the largest concerns the Internet has today. Even larger corporations cannot withstand the hacking attacks, as the recent scandal with SolarWinds showed. Backdoor Trojans, ransomware, malware, and spyware are only a few cases when urgent action is required on your side. Information became one of the major sources of profit for hackers who are willing to sell your data to anyone interested. Phishing and spyware frequently steal your data and provide it to the virus developer that may affect your finances. Still, in some cases, you may not even know that your system was hacked as the process happens silently. In this case, the following hints will reveal common mistakes related to your computer security and how you can find out if your computer was hacked.
Common mistakes and warning signs
First and foremost, you should not treat your network security lightly. Experts from NetCraftsmen state that your network security should be created by you and equally watched over. This is echoed by the recent article from Vice, where experts warn against the extensive use of Bluetooth devices, particularly with your Android smartphone. Regular updates and the use of firewalls can protect your laptop while your smartphones should be double-checked. Additionally, you should not abuse your Internet of Things (IoT) environment to prevent cybercriminals from getting information out of you. Therefore, these are some warning signs that can make you aware of a hacked system.
1. Your PC works slower. If your system seems overburdened while you have a hard time working with your Windows, you should receive a warning sign that you are hacked. Open your Windows Task Manager and check if you do not have hidden or extra processes within your system. They may take extra memory and prevent your Internet from functioning properly. The sudden shortening of disk space or doubling DNS requests might reveal a similar situation, so your misconfigured device should be cleaned.
2. Your Internet connection works unusual. If your computer makes an odd connection to the hosts on the Internet and they get rejected, you might be the victim of a cyber-attack. It is advisable to upgrade your router, change your passwords for Internet connections, and establish them anew. If this does not help, your Windows should be re-installed and re-imagined.
3. Your passwords were recently leaked. Check your Google account to make sure that your system does not have any recent passwords leak on your devices. If this happens, make sure to alter them as soon as possible. If you do not wish to trust your password manager with them, note them down so you can restore your system and not lose access to any of your private data. Moreover, create a habit of changing your passwords for the sites you use most often or visit for work purposes.
4. Your system report account disabling and failed login attempts. Such alerts might signify that hackers changed the passwords or intercepted them. Thus, the recent virus Zeus (Zbot) plundered victims’ banking details and destroyed PC defense in many countries worldwide. Thus, malware you recently received with some random mail or third-party app might be the one stealing your private data or “antivirus hijack.” Similarly, in most cases, this ends up with a clean install of Windows, and you will fairly get control over your system.
How to prevent such cases?
You can avoid such unfortunate events by taking action beforehand. While it is not too late, you should consider these two options to improve the current situation with your Internet security.
Firstly, install antivirus software you trust. This is the trusted solution by many users to avoid the most common Internet threats. Additionally, such protection types contain 360-software tools to protect your IoT, computer, and smartphone. This option is the best possible solution to prevent malware from entering your system and destroying the data. Additionally, such propositions offer VPNs to encrypt your online data while you send certain sensitive information online or through unprotected sites.
Secondly, consider specified checks. Thus, you may consider checking your system for spyware or ransomware specifically. These smaller yet similarly functional tools can help to find system vulnerabilities or any kind of related issues that require your extra attention. Thus, this option might help your Windows 10 to observe if someone is actually watching your right now. These smaller utilities can equally help if you are not sure where to start with building your protective network shield. The observation in such possible issues as keyloggers, crypto miners, and tracking cookies can be similarly useful for your protection. While 360-software works perfectly with such smaller concerns, they frequently may not show minor aspects that could be dangerous for your business.
Thirdly, keep your system backed in the Cloud. While some situations with iCloud became a matter of controversy years ago, the cloud is still a formidable way to keep your most precious data backed up. In case you find that your PC was hacked, you can clean it up and restore valuable parts of your projects, memorable photographs, or business emails from the cloud and not bother about it being lost forever.
In most cases, the hacking of your computer ends up with Windows reinstallation and data loss. The danger of such a situation is that you might lose your project, personal data, sensitive or valuable photos, items, or profiles that you use often. The thing gets even worse if you have your business online and have to work from home. Thus, regular monitoring of your Windows and Internet connection is required to make sure everything works properly. If you spot any early warning signs mentioned above, do not hesitate to wipe your Windows and install it anew. Still, if you wish to avoid the very possibility of your data being stolen, change your passwords, avoid data exposure, install antivirus software and make sure your system contains no Backdoor or spyware that might deliver your information to cybercriminals.