As the news of several accountants’ computers being hacked by criminal gangs, the security of your computer on Internet is again under scanner. As the use of Internet is increasing, the chances of your computer getting hacked are also increasing dramatically. There is plenty of file sharing and web surfing that is being done, which makes your computer vulnerable for attack. But this article will help you in deciding what steps to take if your computer gets hacked.
How to Find if Your Computer is Hacked?
It is important to know when your computer has been actually hacked and when it is just behaving weird:
- Sometimes it’s just simple and the hacker may leave some note or warning to prove that your computer is actually hacked.
- You are not able to access your various mails and social media accounts or at worst you are not able to access your computer.
Steps to Take if Your Computer Gets Hacked:
1. Check the Impact of Damage
After using your computer for some time you would know what type of infection you are facing whether it’s malware, virus, trojan, keylogger (spyware) or anything else. In case a keylogger application is installed, you can use a good antispyware program to remove the infection. However, formatting the hard drive is a better option if the infection is severe. You should try to back-up all the important and confidential files that you may have in your computer before formatting.
2. Damage Control
You should run antivirus programs to determine the extent of damage. Users of Windows OS can run “Malware bytes” which can be found freely and recognises various harmful applications which antivirus cannot. Sophos Mac antivirus is a free application which can be used by Mac users.
After running several scans you will know what is the extent of damage you are facing. After making the list of viruses and malware that have infected your computer, next thing you need to find is what the impact of damage is. For that you must check the details about those viruses and malware programs to know how they rank in terms of damages they can have in your computer. You must carry out the searches from a neutral device which is not hacked and search for removal tools for those malware programs which have infected your computer. Unfortunately, if after several tries you are not able to clean your computer then the only option left is to re-install your operating system.
4. Offline Hacking
This is true that Internet is the most common way to hack a computer, but it is possible that anybody can hack your system using USB devices. The process of removal of the infection is the same in this case as well. The best precaution you can take to avoid such situations is to password protect your computer OS and BIOS. This makes it difficult for anyone to gain access to your computer.
The best thing that you can do is to protect your computer by using fully updated antivirus and a good firewall. It is also wise to have a protection tool for windows registry. To protect your files, you can use encryption tools so as to encrypt the data on your hard disk. As there is no 100% foolproof way to prevent hacking it is always better to take precautionary measures.