8 Signs That Your Computer Has Been Hacked

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Cyberattacks have become extremely common these days. Not a week goes by, and you see another headline about a cyberattack on your Spectrum TV and even though when you Call Spectrum, they were running an awareness campaign for it. This is because people are connecting more and more computers and other data storage devices to the internet. Hence, everyone is concerned about securing their data.

You can watch for some tell-tale clues to protect your passwords, accounts, credit cards, and other sensitive data. Here are the top eight signs that someone has hacked your computer.

Passwords Don’t Work

You didn’t change your passwords, yet they suddenly stopped working on their own? Someone might have changed them. Your computer and accounts have locked you out and won’t accept your password? It’s probable that a hacker might have hacked your computer and changed the passwords. However, if you have two-factor authentication enabled, you may be safe. Using that, you may be able to change your passwords and recover your account. It is always a good idea to use as many layers of protection as possible to prevent hacking. This will ensure that you don’t lose your passwords and thus your accounts forever.

Cursor Moves on Its Own

If you see the cursor moving on its own, it’s a sure sign that your computer has been hacked. A moving cursor typically means the hacker is controlling your computer and browsing through your files. If the moving cursor starts highlighting files, it means that the hacker is deleting or copying your data. In such an event, take out your Ethernet cable or switch off your router to disconnect from the internet. This will stop the hack midway. Next, turn your antivirus on, try to delete all unknown applications, and make sure your firewall is turned on. Additionally, you should call in a cybersecurity expert at this point.

Files Are Deleted or Encrypted

If you can’t open any of your files and they appear to be deleted or encrypted, you have been hacked. This is a ransomware attack. It normally comes with a small note from the hacker asking for ransom. In this case, it is very hard to recover your data without a cybersecurity expert.

Anti-virus Has Been Switched Off

If you see that the anti-virus has been switched off and you don’t remember doing it, someone may have hacked your computer. Anti-virus software, third-party or Windows, warns you multiple times before you can shut it off. So, it is almost impossible to turn off your anti-virus software by mistake. Thus, a hacker may have turned your antivirus off.

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Fake Antivirus Warnings Show Up

Did you find an antivirus in your system that doesn’t look like the one you were using? It might be a fake antivirus that a hacker designed. Similarly, be careful if you find a strange-looking anti-virus in your system that is giving you a lot of warnings at once. There’s a chance those warnings are false. A hacker probably designed them to trick you. The hacker can then use this anti-virus to ask you for administrator privileges. In this way, the hacker will gain control of your computer.

Unknown Icons Appear on Your Desktop

If you see new shortcuts or unknown icons on your desktop of applications you know you didn’t install, you might be hacked. Make sure you don’t run any of these applications to see what they do. This is because they might execute malicious code from the hacker. Instead, try to delete all such unknown apps quickly and completely from your computer.

You’re Redirected to Different Websites

If you are trying to go to a specific website but the web browser keeps sending you to a different website, someone has probably hacked your computer. This is a typical “pharming” cyberattack. In this, malicious code installed on your computer redirects you to seemingly legit-looking fake websites. For example, a website that seems like Facebook but has a slightly different-looking logo. The hacker then waits for you to input your login credentials. Using these, the hacker gains control of your account.

Your Computer Works Very Slowly

If your computer works very slowly, it may have been hacked for resources. Due to the rise of cryptocurrency, hackers look to hack systems with resources they can use in crypto-mining pools. Additionally, you could also have downloaded a malicious worm from an attacker. A worm will keep on multiplying itself and slowing down your computer. This is because it takes up all its RAM space.


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