When your computer, account or network is hacked, responding quickly can be essential for limiting the damage. But how can you tell that you’ve been hacked? Here is a brief guide that will help you to detect hackers.
Know the tell-tale signs
There are a few sure signs that you have been hacked. These include:
- Rogue mouse movement – someone else is controlling your cursor!
- Scary messages and pop-ups demanding payment with the threat of deleting data (this is known as ransomware and can be one of the most serious forms of cybercrime).
- Passwords no longer working
- Software installing itself onto your computer without permission
- Fake virus warnings and redirected internet searches
If you notice any one of these signs, it’s most likely you have been hacked. Of course, it is possible to get hacked and for none of these signs to be present, which is where other forms of detection can come in handy.
Set up alerts
It could be worth installing software to help with network intrusion detection. This will help to detect those less obvious forms of intrusion in which hackers may attempt to move silently.
To be certain of detecting hackers, make sure to invest in high-grade software. And of course, make sure that it’s trusted and from a good source (there are plenty of malware programs out there posing as anti-virus software).
Many accounts such as email accounts and bank accounts may send you messages to warn you if someone has tried to log on to your account from another location. Make sure to not ignore these alerts.
Check your online accounts
You should also frequently check your accounts to check that no unexplained payments have been made. Unusual transactions from online accounts could be a sign that you’ve been hacked. Hackers often tend to steal a lot of money rather than spending small amounts, so these unexplained payments may be quite noticeable.
What to do if you think you’ve been hacked?
If you think you’ve been hacked, the best thing to do is to lock everything down. Turn off your computers and your local internet. When it comes to accounts being hacked, log in and change your password (if possible) and then notify the provider of those accounts (whether it’s a social media account, online bank account or the hosting provider for your website).
If malware or a virus has been placed on your computer, you may be able to remove this using antivirus software. Reinstalling your operating system to completely wipe your system of any traces of this virus may also be required (hopefully you will have files backed up elsewhere). It’s best to call out IT technicians or talk to your IT team as they will know the best next steps to containing the hack and removing all threats.
Once the problem has been dealt with you’ll then need to assess the damage and possibly inform customers if their personal data has been compromised. You should then work on strengthening your digital security so that the same thing never happens again. Recovering won’t be easy and you’ll have to convince customers that you have improved your security to rebuild your reputation as a trusted company. There may also be financial losses to recover (cyber insurance may cover this).
Main photo source: Pixabay. CCO Licensed