Skip to content

Protect Your Computers – How To Recognize If You’ve Been Hacked

Overview

Hacks and attacks can not only cause a loss of your business data but can also create both financial and reputational losses.

The most common attack is the phishing scam, where an email or text message appears to be from someone you know and asks for confidential information like credit card numbers or login details.

Bear in mind that the best way to protect yourself against these types of scams is to avoid clicking on links in emails or texts that ask for personal information.

Instead, visit the website directly using a web browser.

The second type of hack is when hackers break into computers connected to networks and steal sensitive information.

This could include passwords, usernames, account numbers, Social Security Numbers (SSNs), bank account numbers and other private information.

If you suspect that your network has been hacked, here are some signs to look out for:

• Unusual activity on your computer or mobile device

• Someone attempts to access files or programs that they shouldn’t have access to

• A virus or malware infection is found on your computer or mobile phone

• Your internet service provider (ISP) or wireless carrier says there was suspicious activity on your account

• Your online banking or payment accounts show unusual activity

• Your email inbox contains messages from people claiming to be with your ISP or wireless carrier asking for money or threatening to shut off your service if you don’t pay them

• If your email address has changed without your permission

• Some of all of your social media accounts have been compromised

• Your computer shows up as being infected by malware

• Your computer or mobile device has been used to send spam or malicious software

Therefore, to prevent this from happening to you, it’s important to keep your software updated and use strong passwords.

Also, make sure all devices connected to your network are protected by antivirus software.

How To Protect Yourself From Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are one of the biggest threats to businesses today.

They are designed to trick users into giving away their personal information.

These scams often come in the form of fake websites that appear one of the most common ways hackers get their hands on your personal information.

They often come disguised as emails from banks, retailers, government agencies and even your own company.

Phishers may try to trick you into giving away your personal information by sending legitimate and even seem to come from a trusted source.

They will also try to get you to provide personal information like your username and password, credit card number and Social Security Number.

The scammers will do so through email or text messages.

They may send you an email or text message that looks legitimate.

The message might say something like “Your bank just sent you a new password!” or “You won $10,000 in our sweepstakes!”

It may seem like a need to update your security question answers.

Here Are Some Things To Watch Out For

• Don’t click on any link in the email or text message. Instead, go to the site directly in your web browser.

• Never give out your password over the phone or via text message.

• Always verify that the website is secure before entering your personal information.

• Check the URL at the top right-hand corner of your screen. Make sure it starts with https. This means the site is safe.

• Look for words like “bank,” “credit” or “security.” The more specific these terms are, the less likely you are to fall victim to phishing scams.

• Be wary of any links that ask you to enter your login credentials.

• Do not respond to any requests for personal information unless you are confident that the request is legitimate.

• If you receive a call from someone who claims to be from your bank or other financial institution, hang up immediately.

• When somebody asks you to change your password, hang up and contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

• Then if the person calls back, tell them you already changed your password.

• If you think you may be a target of a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftc.gov/complaint.

• Report suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency.

• Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails or text messages.

• Delete any suspicious emails or texts immediately.

• Change your passwords regularly.

• Use strong passwords with different combinations of letters, numbers and symbols.

• Consider using a password manager to help create unique passwords for each account.

• Watch out for pop-ups when accessing your accounts online.

• Keep track of your logins and passwords in a safe place.

• And finally, if you ever suspect that you have been hacked, contact your bank or financial institutions immediately.