“I’ve been hacked!” We hear this bold statement constantly. Our reply has a two-fold approach: part arm-chair psychologist and part IT specialist. It is easy to feel hacked, but have you really been hacked?
Here are scenarios to determine if you’ve been hacked or not:
- PC is slow. Not hacked! Maybe a failing hard drive or computer virus infection.
- Pop-up saying to click here to remove your virus. Close, but no cigar. Not hacked! Sounds like spyware.
- A pop-up saying you’ve been infected and it’s coming from your ISP, i.e. Verizon or TimeWarner.
- An FBI pop-up, ransomware message, or similar. All viruses or trojans and not a hack-job.
- Can’t log into Gmail or your email and you’re 100% positive you know the password. Hacked! Someone has hacked your email or more likely someone who doesn’t like you has.
- You got a pop-up asking you to call a number to fix your virus. After clicking the box, your second dull-wittedness move is to call and let these people remote into your computer. Total hack job! And you let it happen!
- You see the mouse move on your computer on its own. Yup, totally hacked! Someone has used your remote software or found away in.
To be honest, if you’re not a computer guru, it will be tough to unhack your hack. Your hacker has some serious computer service skills. So, unless you feel you can go toe to toe with Anonymous, don’t try.
Before throwing in the towel totally, there are a couple things you can do:
- Back up your files and reinstall your operating system from scratch. This will give you a clean slate.
- Change your wireless router and computer passwords. Better yet, change all your passwords, including emails, bank accounts, and everything else.
Want to dig deeper and see what’s under your hood? Can you see the hacking in progress. Here are a couple utilities to run:
- WireShark – Checks for network connections in the background. If there are more than your own IP address, then you’re in trouble.
- Task Manager – Close all your programs, Ctrl + Alt + Del and if your CPU usage is maxed out, you’re not in good shape.
Is all this stuff over your head? Then, bring your computer over to a security systems / anti-hacker computer service specialist.