Has Your Computer Been Hacked?

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These days the internet is infested with all sorts of malware, spyware and other unwanted software which – if unintentionally downloaded onto your machine – can have all sorts of negative effects on your computer from just slowing it down to wiping out critical information.

Such software is usually developed by hackers with various agendas… They may be looking to secretly extract confidential data such as your passwords, monitor your activities, or just corrupt your data. But is there a way to tell whether or not your machine has been hacked?

The following are 5 tell-tale signs that your machine has been compromised:

Fake Anti-Virus Alerts

One major sign that your computer has been hacked is when you get those fake anti-virus alerts telling you that your machine has a virus. Of course, the only way you’ll know its fake is if you know what sort of message to expect from your actual anti-virus software.

These messages are usually from someone resorting to underhanded techniques in order to get you to buy their product. Unfortunately, when you receive this message… it’s already too late!

Redirected Searches

Have you ever clicked on a search engine search result only to be redirected to some completely unrelated website to which you never meant to go? This is because some hackers these days make a living by redirecting your clicks to other websites. Those websites pay these hackers to bring them more traffic, but are usually unaware what tactics the hacker is actually using to get them that traffic.

This is again a tell-tale sign that you have been hacked!

Random Browser Toolbars

This is one of the most common signs that your machine has been compromised. Do you see weird toolbars on your browser which you have never installed? Unless this tool bar identifies itself as coming from an extremely well-known vendor… do yourself a favor and uninstall it immediately!

Weird Pop-Ups

Do you get weird – sometimes extremely embarrassing – pop-ups appearing while you’re surfing the internet? This is again a fairly sure sign that you have been hacked.

If you get these, do a complete system virus scan and also check for random tool bars on your browser; these could be the cause.

Your Friends are Getting Fake Emails from You

A couple of years ago, it was common to receive emails from one of your close friends informing you that they are stuck at some airport somewhere and don’t have money for tickets and – of course – begging you to send some to them asap.

If your friends report receiving such an email from YOU, then there are a few things to check:

Is your email address being used? – The email your friends receive may have your name, but if your email address is incorrect that usually means you’re safe. I.e. your system has probably not been compromised.

Did the email go out to all your contacts? – If the email went out to all your contacts then your email account may have been hacked, however if it only went out to a few, then some malware software may have just gotten a few of your contacts from your social media account. You don’t have anything major to worry about.

However, if the email went out to all your friends and your email address is being used… Congratulations! You have been hacked! Please let all your friends know this and change your email account!!

Did we miss anything? Is there another way to tell if your machine has been hacked? Tell us in the comments below!

 

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