It’s no accident that hackers don’t make you aware when they infiltrate a system. Their goal is to penetrate and plant malware that will eventually take full control. Mimicking a duck on water, they quietly wreak havoc beneath the surface.
Hackers are able to sneak in and out of your systems to see what damage the malware has accomplished and what other possibilities there are. This process can go on without you ever being aware your device has been hacked. Despite a hackers stealth, there are always warning signs if you know what to look for.
Here are 6 Warning Signs that You’ve Been Hacked.
- Social Media Messages You didn’t Send
Odds are that you have received, or know someone who has received an odd message from a friend or contact containing a URL. The goal is to start a download of a malicious file or redirect to a malicious site. Whether the message is obvious or quite sophisticated, it is clear that at least your social media account has been hacked.
- Random and Relentless Pop-Ups
A common sign you’ve been hacked is random and frequent browser pop-ups. If you notice them happening on a site you generally don’t experience them, it may be a warning you should heed.
- Mysterious Changes to Browser Toolbars
While it’s normal to have a new toolbar in your browser after installing software from a known source, a sudden appearance of an unfamiliar toolbar you did not install is a sign of malware. Get rid of these unwanted toolbars immediately. The longer they sit in your browser, the more opportunity the malware has to infiltrate your system.
- Unfamiliar or Automatic Software Installation
If software automatically installs without your consent, this is a clear sign your system has been hacked. These softwares can harm or modify existing software. The biggest concern being anti-virus software being disabled, allowing malware to take root.
Plenty of software installations ask users’ permission to install “third-party software”. While these softwares may not be directly malicious, they are often easily abused by hackers. When installing software, be sure to read the license agreement and uncheck any boxes giving consent to third party software.
- Invalid Password
If you find your login information suddenly invalid and are sure you have entered it correctly, it is likely that your account has been compromised. This is often the result of a phishing email. These emails redirect you to a look-alike page where you unwittingly hand over your data to a hacker.
- Wonky Mouse Movement
Some sporadic mouse movement may be a glitch or sign of technical difficulties. However, precise, systematic movements opening and closing programs is evidence that someone else has taken control of your computer from a remote location. This is a serious threat as a hacker can strike once your computer becomes inactive. Take action immediately to prevent a stranger from using your computer to do whatever they want.
While all of these threats sound scary, the majority of hacks don’t become serious without some form of human action to open the door. Be careful on your computer and other devices. Consider each click and pay attention to suspicious activity.
Most importantly, if you notice any of these signs or other complications with your device, take action immediately. It’s always easier to resolve simple infiltrations before a hacker has time to do too much damage.
For more expert information about different types of malware and how to remove it from your device, contact Bytesize today.