After reading the news of hacking and data breach, you might be wondering about your own security. That’s a good step! Do you want to know if your personal computer has been infected by a virus or your social networking accounts have been compromised? If yes then you’re at the right place. keep reading this post till the end.
One thing to notice is that hackers want your private information for stealing your identity and your personal computer and social media accounts are the best places to find that. But you’ll be wondering why would someone hack my system or accounts? Valid question. There’s a serious reason.
Nowadays, users’ data is the most precious thing in this world. These giant companies like Facebook, Google and other marketing companies rely upon their users’ data to make profits.
In this post, I’m going to tell you the signs that indicate a possible hacked computer or a compromised online account.
PART 1: Signs indicating your computer has been hacked.
1. Unusual network activity
Your RAM and CPU usage can increase while using heavy applications or gaming, but if you find unusual spikes in the usage of RAM and CPU even while doing normal tasks, there’s a possibility that some service is eating up your resources. That might be a sign of the presence of a malware or virus.
Open up your task manager and see the performance and networking tab for identifying unusual activity. Also, see the processes tab to spot any unnecessary process running in the background. To kill that process, simply right click on that and select “End process”.
2. Frequent pop-ups on your screen and web browser
If you are seeing random pop-ups frequently either on your computer screen or on your web browser, then it’s a strong indication of something bad happened to your computer. First, check if these pop-ups are coming from your installed programs. If not then you must take immediate actions.
3. Unknown programs installed on your computer
Go to the control panel > Programs and Features. If you find a program you didn’t install, it’s likely a malicious one. However, it’s difficult to identify because malware can be embedded in legitimate software and can bypass antivirus or anti-malware programs. Only uninstall the program which you’re sure of no use.
4. Security software not working
If you notice that your antivirus or antimalware software has suddenly stopped working then it’s nearly confirmed that it’s a job of some malware. Some types of malware permanently disable the security software as soon as they enter the system to prevent themselves from form scanning and removing.
5. System slows down significantly
Well, this might or might not be the sign of a hacked computer. Your system can slow down for a variety of reasons — heavy gaming, running too many applications simultaneously or if you have less RAM. However, if you find a sudden drop in the performance even after having good specifications, the possibility of a malware infection cannot be refused.
PART 2: Signs indicating your online accounts have been hacked.
1. Unable to log in to your account
You typed in the correct credentials(username and password) and still not be able to log in, your account has been compromised. In that case, immediately change your password by using rest password feature.
Unfortunately, if you fail to confirm the ownership of your account, meaning, if you haven’t set a recovery email address or mobile number or forgotten security question’s answer, the only thing you can do is report to the company or service to which the account belongs that your account has been hacked.
2. Unintentional activities happening on your account
If you notice some irregular activities on your account, for example, emails being sent to your contacts from your email address without your consent, then it’s a sign of a compromised account. A hacker will try to spread the virus to more targets by sending email to your contacts. from your email account.
If your contacts are receiving email from your email address then another possibility is that the hacker is spoofing your email address.
You can’t do much in that case but say to your contacts that you haven’t sent them the mails.
3. You find your account pawned at Have I Been Pwned Website
https://haveibeenpwned.com is a website that checks whether your account has been pwned in the data breach. Simply enter your email address and click on pwned? button to check if that email address has been a part of any data breach. Check the websites on which you have an account and see the report details.
What to do when you know you’ve been hacked?
You must take immediate actions once you know that your computer has been infected with a virus or your online accounts have been compromised. Some actions are given below:
- Run a full system scan to detect and remove any malware or a virus.
- Uninstall any unwanted programs and kill suspicious processes running it the background.
- Change all of your online accounts passwords and enable 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) on them.
Prevention is better than cure
You can take preventive measures to keep your system and accounts safe instead of looking for the solutions of the hacking aftermath.
- Use security software for your system and keep it up-to-date.
- Regularly update installed programs.
- Keep changing the password of your system as well as online accounts at regular intervals.
- Never use the same password for all the accounts and use a password manager.