How Can I Tell if My Computer or Network Has Been Hacked?

These days, we use our computers for everything from business to online banking to communicating with people around the world. Many banks like Five Star Bank offer consumer checking accounts, which has proven to be very beneficial. Of course, the trust we put into these devices makes them a prime target for hackers who want to disrupt the normal order of things.

There are nearly 1 million new malware attacks released on a daily basis. Clearly, hackers are committed to gaining access to your valuable information. So, how do you know if you have been hacked? How can you prevent being hacked?

In this article, we will tell you how to tell if your computer has been hacked. In addition, we will also tell you what to do if your computer has been hacked and how you can prevent hacking from ever occurring in the first place.

Is Your Computer or Internet Browser Slower Than Normal?

A sure sign that something is wrong with your computer could be an unexplained, sudden slow down when using the device. Of course, hardware components can degrade over time and cause computers to feel slow or sluggish. However, a new computer that’s experiencing sudden performance issues is a definite red flag.

Malware often operates in the background to track keystrokes and steal your information, among other goals. When these programs are operating, your device is dedicating computing power to the nefarious processes. As a result, your computer may feel slow for seemingly no reason at all.

If your browser is running slow, it could indicate that a website or browser extension is using additional computing power as well. Crypto mining code has been found in some websites and browser extensions. This code forces your device to mine cryptocurrency like Bitcoin without your approval. The result is a slower, poorly performing experience when browsing the internet.

Are You Seeing Unexplained Popups?

The occasional popup when you visit a website is annoying, but not unusual. Continuous popups on your computer should be a little more concerning. Sometimes it doesn’t take much when learning how to tell if your computer has been hacked. The hackers make their work obvious.

One of the most alarming popups you can receive is a ransomware popup. Ransomware locks down your computer or network data and requires payment or else the data will be deleted forever. These attacks have affected everyone from personal users to government agencies to some of the biggest companies in the world.

If you operate a business, ransomware can be very scary. One hacked computer can quickly evolve into a larger network hacking scenario where multiple users have their data and ability to work affected. The cost of paying hackers is never an easy pill to swallow but neither is losing essential data.

Are You Seeing Unexplained Activity Online?

In many cases, hackers are looking for usernames and passwords so that they can access your social media accounts, online banking, and other services. If you are noticing strange occurrences online, it may be an indication you have been hacked.

One example of this is unexplained or odd social media posts. Hackers will use the Facebook profiles of legitimate users to link unsuspecting users to fraudulent websites, online stores, and compromised websites.

If you have set up two-factor authentication on some of your services, you may notice authentication emails or text messages arriving asking for verification about a login. This is one indication that someone has stolen your login information. Luckily, two-factor authentication has stopped them in their tracks for now.

How to Prevent Hacking and What to Do if Your Computer Has Been Hacked

Device hacking and network hacking are both very real concerns for personal and business users around the world. Luckily, there are some basic tips that can a long way in preventing hacking and protecting your information.

First, as mentioned above, two-factor authentication can stop hackers in their tracks if they manage to steal information. Best of all, you will be alerted about login attempts. Enable this feature whenever possible.

Next, be sure to avoid any links or emails that look suspicious. If you are not expecting an email or attachment from someone then you may want to think twice about opening it. Even a legitimate sender could be hacked and sending compromised files unknowingly from their trusted email account.

Most importantly, prevention is key. You can seek out professionals after you have been hacked, but preventing the hacking in the first place can be much more cost effective and cause less downtime. In fact, you may wish to partner with trusted professionals for managed IT services to help prevent a serious breach in your devices and network.

Learn More about Managed IT Services

From protecting your entire network from malicious emails to ensuring devices are up-to-date and protected against hacking; managed IT services are one of the most effective ways to stop hackers in their tracks.

At Smile Business Products, our experts are ready to help you ensure the safety and security of your businesses’ digital assets. Contact us today to learn more about managed IT services. Hopefully, with our help, you will never have to find out what to do if your computer has been hacked.