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5 Scary Signs You’ve Been Hacked

5 Scary Signs You’ve Been Hacked


It’s a scary time for cybersecurity. The protection once offered by anti-virus and anti-malware software is weakened as hackers find innovative ways to exploit their targets. With cyberattacks on the rise, it’s important to recognize potential signs that you’ve been hacked as soon as possible. Catching malware or ransomware in its early stages can significantly reduce the damage caused and data lost. Here are 5 signs you’ve likely been hacked:

1) Extra Toolbars You Didn’t Add: Various forms of malware often make their way onto computers through browser toolbars. Users may even inadvertently allow these additions via sneaky fine print that users often miss when installing software, especially freeware and shareware. Be careful not to install toolbars you don’t want and avoid toolbars from unknown software vendors all together.

2) Rogue Social Media Messages: Count on close friends and family members to alert you if your account is sending strange invitations or uninvited requests to games or other applications. Newer forms of these attacks include links within Facebook Messages. They can even be personalized with the name of the recipient and they often have salacious titles that invoke people’s curiosity for a click.

3) Redirected Online Searches: Hackers can profit by redirecting your Internet search to another website. The owners of these websites often don’t know that the source of their uptick in traffic is malicious. Browser plug-ins can increase your vulnerability to these attacks. If you’ve noticed strange search results, try entering a few generic words, like dog or car, to see if the pattern persists.

4) Failed Password: You’re certain that you’re entering your online password correctly but continue to receive an error message that it’s wrong. Take a brief rest and try again in a few minutes. If you continue to be locked out of your account, you may be a victim of a phishing scheme. Even if you gain entry into your account through password recovery, your account and all of your contacts could still be compromised. It’s worth the effort to warn close contacts to keep an eye out for suspicious emails from your account. Two-factor authentication is an excellent option to boost your password security.

5) Mouse Moves On Its Own: Perhaps the scariest sign of them all is the seeming possession of your mouse. Without warning, your mouse pointer will switch between programs, move across the screen, and even make correct selections within windows. This is a somewhat rare but particularly malicious attack because it allows a hacker to entirely take over a system. It’s often used to transfer money out of the owner’s online accounts or make unwanted purchases.

Threats to cybersecurity are a scary prospect for any individual user or business. There are fewer effective protections and higher costs from attacks. Recognizing the signs of hacking and attempted hacking is critical. If you suspect you’ve been hacked, assess the damage. There are multiple strategies to fight back and minimize your loss. If you need assistance with data recovery, submit an Online Help form to get started today.

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