Every company that deals with data is prone to get hacked sooner or later. One of the challenges of getting hacked is that the hackers usually do not let their victims know that they have been hacked (except for the ransomware attacks). This is due to the fact that the hackers employ secretive hacking techniques to steal the victim’s data without their knowledge. This would help them to re-compromise the victim’s systems from time to time so that they can get more data.
This is the reason you probably would not know if your system has already been compromised and that the stolen data has been shared anywhere publicly like the dark web. That being said, there are a couple of signs that would help you identify if you have been hacked or if there is a RaaS attack.
How You Will Find Out If You Have Been Hacked
Have you been hacked? Well, as already stated that it is difficult at the first instance to say whether you have been hacked or not. But it is not impossible to detect. Here, we have carefully listed out some of the most probable signs that could help you find out whether you might have been hacked. This would further help you to take proper measures to combat the situation and be prepared for future data hacks.
Someone Has Utilized One Of Your Credit Accounts
One of the common occurrences with accounts getting hacked is online identity theft. If you happen to use credit cards online and you happen to detect any unidentified transactions via one of your hacked accounts, you must take it to be a case of account hacking.
Your Inbox Is Hit With Some Bizarre Email Messages
If you spot any bizarre emails on your email IDs linked to the hacked accounts or if your email contacts mail you that they have been spammed from your end and if you are not doing that, then it is a clear indication that you have been hacked.
You Spot New Programs Appearing All Of A Sudden
If you notice that one or more unknown programs are installed in your system which you have not bought, then this indicates that your system has been hacked and someone has manipulated your system.
You Cannot Login To Your Account(s) With The Existing Password
If you are trying to log in to your accounts with the passwords you had set for, then be rest assured that someone (a hacker) has broken into your accounts and has changed the password that is not letting you enter the accounts. Probably, the hacker has already been using the account full-fledged.
You Observe Bizzare Browser Activities
Some hackers virtually manipulate your browser just as anyone would do sitting just in front of you. If you observe any unknown browser activity that you or your family members have not done, then this could mean or indicate that your system has been rigorously compromised.
You Start Losing Control Of Your System
Malware such as a computer virus is potent enough to redirect your browser activity and restrict you from reaching the websites that you want to visit. Undoubtedly, this is the work of the hacker who had made changes on your system.
You Are Unable To Update Your System
If the hacker entering your system has infected your system with malware, the infested malware can restrict you from downloading the latest system upgrades and/or the anti-virus updates.
Your System Runs Unusually Slower
If you notice that despite good internet speed your system is lagging or getting heated up, it is absolutely possible that someone is in continuous use of your bandwidth. This could mean that someone is taking advantage of your unsecured wireless connection or maybe the hacker is downloading data from your hard disk.
You Pay Heed To The Unusual Disk Activity
If you happen to get whirring noise from your computer’s hard drive over time, it could mean that your antivirus is running an active scan, or otherwise, the hacker-infected malware is searching data to cause damage or engage in data theft.
Your Antivirus Software Gets Disabled
Some hackers use malware in the bid to disable your antivirus and create havoc. If you observe that your active antivirus gets disabled on its own automatically, then a hacker is busy on your system in the backend.
You Are Getting Strange On-screen Surprises
If you receive anything annoying other than the ads such as the toolbar pop-ups, new programs that weren’t there earlier, then it is a clear indication of a cyber attack.
What To Do Now?
If you are pretty much sure that you have been hacked and that your computer has been already compromised, you must want to know about the steps that you can follow in order to minimise the damage that might have been caused by the data loss. Below are some of the steps that you need to take immediately if you are already hacked:
Immediately Change The Password
The first and foremost step that you would require to do is change the existing password without a delay. This would confuse the hackers and they would need time to crack the next. Keep the passwords strong and implement an alphanumeric (and special symbols if accepted) system. Also, make a regular habit of changing your passwords quite often.
Enable The Two-Factor Authentication
Most of the accounts that deal with sensitive information have the provision to enable the 2-FA or the two-factor authentication. This works as an on the top layer of security and is not confined to your usual username or password and it will ask your login with an additional step like a short term security code sent through a text message or a phone call.
Check For The Updates
One of the many ways and probably the best way to protect your devices is to update them on a regular basis. You can also enable the automatic updates so that you do not have to keep yourself reminding of updating your software and applications.
Install A Good Anti-virus Protection And Scan Your Computer
Do thorough research on the anti-virus programs and install a good one. It would help detect malicious softwares and programs and block them from causing harm to your system. Do not go for the free anti-virus as they might be malicious software posing as a legit anti-virus.
Remove The Sensitive Information From The Compromised Accounts
As soon as you realize that your system has been hacked and you can access your compromised accounts, make sure to change the passwords and instantly remove any sensitive data that it may beat to avoid unnecessary data breaches. You must also clean the folders located in the respective accounts’ cloud services such as Dropbox, iCloud or Google Drive.
Monitor Your Bank Statements & Account Activity
One of the major motivations of a cyberattack apart from a data breach is to steal your money from the bank accounts or identity that they can use in some way or the other. You must monitor your accounts for the recent activity and make sure that no shipping address, payment methods or accounts have been added. Also, you must call your bank and inform them so that they can help you from their fraud department.
In order to protect your account(s) and remove the individuals proving to be malicious, check which social media apps are connected to which accounts. De-link all of them. In case of any difficulty, you can contact the associated customer service. Additionally, run a dark web scan or dark web monitoring from websites like HaveIBeenPwned so that it can detect if any of your data is available on the dark web especially the dark web markets and darknet forums.
Inform Your Friends That You Have Been Hacked
Let your friends and your email contacts know that you have been hacked and that the unwanted emails they are receiving from your end are not your work but of the hackers who are trying to victimize them as well.
As digitalization has taken its position and is widely in use by the companies and the individuals, being a target of a cyber attack or an identity theft has become common. But there is nothing to worry about as you have our back. You must also be aware of the modern cybercrimes and stay alert at the same time.
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