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Can You Tell When You’ve Been Hacked? Here’s How to Know!

When a pop-up message such as “Security Alert” or “Your Computer May be Infected” appears on your screen, it’s easy to tell that your computer is under attack. That said, most cyberattacks and data breaches are subtle and might remain undetected for days, leading to potentially severe losses.

A computer hack means a malicious actor has gained unauthorized access to data stored on a device and steals, modifies or deletes this data without your permission and knowledge. From spyware to malware, attacks on computers and networks take many different forms.

To help you maintain a safe digital environment, watch out for the following signs of a hack:

Unusual Disk Activity – Inadvertent cursor movements or mouse clicks with applications being opened are potential clues that a hacker might be controlling your computer remotely. Disconnect from the LAN or internet network if you detect such activity.

Strange Computer Applications – A strange application running on your device implies an intruder might have gained unauthorized access to the computer. Sometimes the apps appear legitimate, but if you don’t remember installing such an application, delete it immediately.

Password Changes – Another sign of a computer hack is a sudden password change. For instance, you might be unable to log into your computer, bank account, or email due to incorrect details, although you didn’t initiate any change. Sometimes, you might get an alert from a bank or web merchant indicating that your account security was compromised. Strange, unauthorized transactions also point to possible cyberattacks.

Open padlock suggesting a hack.

Unwanted Browser Toolbars and Add-ons – Opening the browser to find a ton of new plugins and installed extensions indicates someone else is in control of your computer. Most attackers employ web redirects and malicious applications to generate fake traffic and earn money. Any pop-up ad that refuses to close is likely a sign of a computer hack, not a bug.

Weird Messages from Your Accounts – Hackers can install programs on your computer and then use your accounts, including email and social media, to send messages to your contact lists. If you notice unfamiliar messages in the sent folder of your email account, your computer is probably infected. Similarly, strange posts through your social media accounts indicate hacking.

Knowing the signs of computer hack is essential in responding appropriately and keeping your data safe! Ask us about our Managed Security solutions for your business.

About PrimeEdge Technology

PrimeEdge is a premier office technology solutions and services provider based in Winchester, VA. Services include Managed IT, Managed Print, Voice, Unified Communications and XaaS. Products include a wide variety of HP Printers, Scanners, MFPs, Computers and Workstations.

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