Top 7 signs of being hacked - and ways to combat it!

May 18, 2023
Written by Ana R.

Antimalware software is not providing the expected peace of mind in today's threatscape. The accuracy of antimalware scanners is especially poor for exploits that are less than 24 hours old. This is because malicious hackers and malware creators can easily modify their tactics and evade detection. Even a small modification can make a previously identified malware program unrecognizable. To verify this, one can drop off any suspected malware file at Google’s VirusTotal and check the detection rates of over 60 antimalware scanners.

To address this issue, some antimalware programs use heuristics to monitor program behaviors and detect previously unknown malware. Other programs utilize virtualized environments, system monitoring, network traffic detection, or a combination of these techniques to increase accuracy. However, these methods are not infallible and can still fail. If antimalware software fails, it's important to know how to identify any malware that has infiltrated your system.

How to know if you have been hacked

Here's the list of 7 most common signs that someone might have successfully hacked into your accounts or devices:

  1. Slow performance: If your computer has suddenly become slower than usual, it could be a sign that there are unwanted programs running in the background or that someone is using your computer remotely.
  2. Unauthorized software installations: If you notice new software or programs on your computer that you did not install or authorize, it could be a sign that someone else has access to your system.
  3. Strange pop-ups and error messages: If you are seeing unusual pop-ups or error messages on your computer, it could be a sign that someone has installed malware or a virus on your system.
  4. Changes in settings: If you notice that your computer's settings, such as your homepage or default search engine, have been changed without your knowledge or consent, it could be a sign that someone else is controlling your system.
  5. Unusual network activity: If you notice a lot of unusual network activity, such as large amounts of data being sent or received, it could be a sign that someone is using your computer remotely.
  6. Unauthorized access to your accounts: If you receive notifications or emails about unauthorized attempts to access your accounts, it could be a sign that someone has gained access to your computer or personal information.
  7. Missing files or programs: If you notice that files or programs are missing from your computer, it could be a sign that someone has deleted or moved them without your knowledge.

Simple ways to combat potential hacking

If you suspect that your device or accounts have been hacked, it's important to take immediate action to protect your personal information and prevent further damage. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Change your passwords: Change the passwords for any accounts that you suspect may have been compromised. Use strong and unique passwords for each account and enable two-factor authentication where possible.
  2. Check your accounts: Check your online accounts, bank statements, and credit reports for any unauthorized activity. If you see any suspicious activity, report it to the relevant authorities or your financial institution immediately.
  3. Update your software: Make sure all your software and operating systems are up to date with the latest security patches and updates.
  4. Scan for malware: Run a malware scan on your device using reputable anti-virus software. Remove any malicious software that is detected.
  5. Be vigilant: Watch out for suspicious emails, texts, or phone calls. Scammers often use these methods to trick people into giving away their personal information.
  6. Seek professional help: If you are unable to remove the malware or suspect that your device has been compromised, seek professional help from trusted and secured experts at TCS Forensics.

Remember, prevention is better than cure. Regularly backup your data, keep your software up to date, and be vigilant of any suspicious activity. If hacked, act fast! Change passwords and contact trusted experts at TCS Forensics to investigate and prevent further damage.