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Thursday, December 15, 2016

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8 Signs That Indicates You Might Have Been Hacked

Oyetoke Tobi - Thursday, December 15, 2016

Have you ever been hacked before? What are signs that indicate that you have been hacked by cyber criminals? Actually, it isn’t always that easy to know if your computer has been hacked, which makes it hard for you to know when to act. However, there are some few signs that you can use to know whether someone has gained illegal access to your computer or your computer has been hacked.

Well, I will say this that “Watch out for the signs that will be mentioned in this article and in case you see any, ensure you do whatever you can do to prevent and stop it”!

So below are the signs that tells you whether you have been hacked

1. An Unexpected Slow Down of the Computer

In case your computer or your internet connection all of a sudden seems somewhat a bit slower than it did a moment ago, it’s possible that someone else is using your processing power or bandwidth. Of course, this can also due to the capacity of your ram not able to handle the things you are doing on your computer quickly or some time happens when an app is not responding. However, some hackers will install an app that runs in the background process of your computer, which takes up a huge amount of resources and eventually leading the slowing down of the computer.

It can also due to aging of computers and they are likely to slow down. So that’s one of the reasons you need to watch for a sudden drop in speed if your computer is still not old. In case it’s very obvious and somewhat just happens over night, then it’s likely that you have been hacked. This also applies to your internet connection and it is very noticeable. In case your internet connection unexpectedly becomes slower and very slow than the usual way. Then someone has your internet connection password or something is hijacking your bandwidth.

2. Unknown New Apps Appearing

Are you seeing unknown new apps appearing to be installed on your computer or smartphones? 

Hackers usually install apps on computers that do different kind of despicable, illegal and corrupt things. The illegal things include background running botnets, stealing credit card and banking information, locking down your computer, and stealing person important information that would be used to steal things from you. You can sometime see new toolbars, unfamiliar antivirus warnings, weird pop-ups, and new browsers.

Android is one of the smartphone that falls for this most especially seeing apps you can’t even remember installing. Android can easily be attacked by hackers that use this method. So always ensure you turn off the “Unknown Source” option in android which helps to block any app that is coming form an unknown source or suspicious source.

Of course, it can be tempting to ignore apps that you don’t remember installing, especially if the app has an attracting name and icon. However, if you notice any suspicious app or app you don’t remember installing, just remove it. You should try to always periodically clean out your apps and browser extensions. It’s a good thing if you can do so.

3. Disabled Antivirus

Have you ever notice that your anti-virus stooped working or disabled suddenly? Generally, Anti-virus app should always be running at all times unless you disabled it yourself. There’s usually an icon in the task bar that shows whether it is off or on. So in case your anti-virus app stops working there’s a high possibly that your computer has been hacked and has disabled it to cover his or her evil tracks. The reason they do this is because the antivirus app might show you their attack and block it. So they usually do that in order for you not to be notified by the anti-virus. 

Generally, it’s a good thing for you to run a daily or weekly full scan of your computer. And you can also set this up to run automatically so as to make it easier for you to know whether your anti-virus is not disabled. Once you notice it isn’t running at the time specified, it has been disabled and serves as a warning.

4. Inability to Log In

Are you in a situation whereby you aren’t able to log into your computer? You’ve logged into your computer hundreds to thousands of time with the same passwords. However, the password doesn’t seem to work now. This can happen sometimes if you have the Caps Lock enabled or the password provided is not correct. Sometimes it might seem like one of those hitches and annoying quirk that happens occasionally. However it could be a warning sign for you.

So if you’ve been locked out of your own computer, then there’s a high possibility that someone has hacked your computer. They have free control over everything going on your computer. It’s high time you should be worried if you unexpectedly have no access to your computer.

5. Strange Activity

Occasionally it seems like computers now have a mind of their own because of some strange activities going on in the background that you don’t know about. Sometimes it is due to some apps you installed or even some of the OS built-in app that needs to be running every time. However if it starts appearing repeatedly than the normal, there may be something going on in your. For example, if your mouse pointer starts moving when you’re not touching the mouse, if your web browser has histories of websites you didn’t know about and didn’t visit, or if your pc is behaving abnormal whenever you want to log in to one of your account on your web browser, then you should start suspecting that your pc might have been compromised.

Obviously, there are other explanations for all of these activities going. It maybe that your wireless mouse battery is low and as a result of that start doing weird things. Or maybe your kids used your computer without telling you. Your antivirus maybe doing a big scan or one of your apps is updating. Or may be you have apps like VMWare and so on that needs to be running in the background even though you are not using that time. However if it happens often more than usual and you still don’t know what’s going on you can take a look at the Task Manager and Activity Monitor on Windows and Mac. The Task Manager on Windows or the Activity Monitor on Mac will help you to identify any suspicious activity going on.

6. Unable to Shut Down

Have you ever experience a situation where your computer won’t shutdown through the general way i.e. by clicking on Windows button and clicking on Shutdown? If yes, then there is a possibility that your computer has been hacked.

Obviously, if someone has hacked and taken control of your computer, they will always still want to keep that control of your pc. That means keeping the computer powered up since they haven’t gotten what they are looking for. So if you’re not able to shut down your computer through the normal way, it’s possible that a cyber criminal is keeping you from not shutting down your pc. A hacker will always do what they can in order to ensure that their control isn’t cut off by a shut down.

7. Access Requests

Some apps may need to request for access permissions depending on your computer security settings. Some apps need access through your firewall. Some will need the permission to run. Or some need to be given permission in order to use information from other apps. Whatever permission any unknown apps are asking for, as long as it’s something you don’t know about; you should that as a sign.
It’s extremely easy to have the habit of just clicking Allow or OK whenever those apps requests come up. So make sure you check the app it is coming from, if they’re coming from apps that you didn’t install personally or you’ve never heard of, beware.

8. False Monetary Transactions

If you are seeing this, it should be an instant and important warning sign for you. In case you’re seeing weird things showing in your financial statements, there’s a possibility that someone has stolen your financial information. The information might not be collected illegally from your computer. Maybe your bank account was hacked by someone. Or there was a big data leak.

So if there isn’t any explanation to this reason, then there’s a high probability that someone has hacked your computer and collected your important information including your financial details. So check your firewall, run a full virus scan, and do anything else you can do to ensure your computer is secure.



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