Keeping your computer secure is paramount to keeping your personal information safe from hacking attempts. If you do not watch out, some malware or hackers with heinous objectives may breach your security.
Consequently, you can suffer substantial negative blows if your data is exposed, including data and financial loss. However, you can avoid such consequences by paying attention to red flags that may indicate your computer security is compromised.
Below are some signs that your computer has been hacked.
Unauthorized Software Installation.
Unauthorized or unwanted software is software you did not install that sometimes may prove impossible to uninstall. These apps are software bundlers and can be introduced to your computer when you download software from untrusted sites on the Internet without sufficient cyber security. These types of software eventually modify your PC and browser settings, resulting in personal information leakage.
Sudden Slow Performance.
Virus or malware infection can lead to sluggish performance of your device. Once malware penetrates your computer defense system, it tends to occupy a substantial amount of your computer’s random access memory (RAM), consequently leaving limited space for other programs to use. Other vital programs, including the operating system, browser, or internet connection, will be affected, making the overall performance of your PC run slow.
Strange Messages to Your Contacts.
When scammers compromise your computer security and get access to your personal information, including email passwords, they may try to exploit your contacts by sending them phony messages hoping they will take action. These phony characters may try to get your contacts to send them money or share their personal information.
Excessive Fake Device Health or Antivirus Messages.
If you notice unusual and frequent pop-up windows or ads that won’t go away encouraging you to scan your device health, install anti-virus, or visit strange sites, this might be a red flag that your PC is infected with a browser hijacker. These sites are usually unsecured, and hackers can use certain tools like “Exploit Kits” to exploit your personal information and infect your PC further with dangerous malware.
Unwanted Web Browser Extensions or Toolbars.
Web browser extensions, especially from third parties, are sometimes malicious. Sometimes you may notice that your web browser home page is different from what you typically see; this means that you have been redirected to a mirror of Google that earns hackers income. These unwanted extensions and toolbars could redirect you to phishing sites.
If you grant these unknown extension permissions, they could potentially read sensitive information on sites you visit, which is a potential financial or data loss hazard. If you spot such extensions, know your computer security might be breached, and uninstalling them might help remedy the situation.
You Are Receiving Strange Emails.
Visiting unsecured sites can attract malware to your computer, expose your IP address, and leave your sensitive information prone to leakage. If you ever notice emails claiming that you have won cash or your computer was hacked and your privacy exposed, it means that spammers have some of your personal information, and they are trying to get more by sending you emails with phishing links.
Your Passwords Are Not Working.
When your personal information or passwords leak, especially email passwords, hackers can have the freedom to access your online accounts and change passwords and user names. So when you try to log in to your online accounts, and you keep receiving an error message that your password or user name is incorrect, it means that your computer security has been compromised. To avoid such scenarios, use safe methods to store and secure passwords, including using different passwords for different accounts and not sharing passwords online.
Strange Activities on Your Social Media Accounts.
You might notice strange posts on your social media handles, and you are not aware why they are there or who posted them. Most hackers are after advertising their products, or they want to manipulate your contacts or followers under your name, and when they get a chance to do so, they do not waste time.
Securing your computer and passwords with strong anti-virus and hacker blocker tools is crucial to securing your sensitive information. However, if hackers or malware manage to breach your computer security, immediate action is appropriate to prevent further damage. Being on the lookout for the above signs will go a long way to ensure you are not a victim of unethical hacking.