Do you think your computer has been hacked? Chances are probably not, but it does not harm to make sure.
In this article we cover
How to check – symptoms to look for if you think your computer has been hacked into.
Hacked computer fix – what can be done if your computer has been hacked.
What is the purpose of hacking a computer
How to check if your computer has been backed
Due to the very nature of the person hacking into a computer there are literally thousands of things that could be done, some of them not so malicious such as changing wall paper or language options or something much more malicious such as trashing your computers operating system or copying private files, gathering account passwords and the like.
But how can we tell? It requires little bit of detective work on your behalf, to begin with if you begin to notice changes on your computer, this could include wall paper suddenly changes, or you cannot access your computer maybe an email account or you see file modification dates have changed when you have not opened the file then this could be a warning that your computers security has been compromised.
The next step is to check system logs using event viewer, this can be accessed by – Right Clicking on My Computer – Select Manage – Computer Management – Event Viewer & Security.
Now you’ll be able to see login information to see which users have logged on to your computer and when, you can even click on each event for more information.
User accounts – extra or unknown user accounts should always be investigated, especially if they have elevated rights such as being added to the administrators group, this can be checked from computer management you’ll be able to see Local users and groups and then users – now you’ll be able to see every user account on your computer – and delete or disable any bogus or hacker accounts.
Another really good way to check is from the admin console on your router – pretty much all routers have logs of various events which give all kinds of information, but in particular you’ll be able to see if persistent attempts are made to access the router.
What can I do if i’ve been hacked?
There are two types of damage limitation we need to employ here online and offline.
Online involves fixing the security loophole and then making your computer as secure as possible.
In addition to these account passwords, including windows login, email accounts, all need to have passwords changed, and not just to any word that can easily be cracked, an easy way to create a secure password that you can remember would be to take a simply word and substitute some of the characters for example if we used the word football this would be an easy word to crack so if we change it to Footb4ll its still easy to remember, but is not actually a real word, all passwords should consist of at least one upper case, one lower case and one numerical character, and a minimum of 8 characters in total.
Offline security means banking passwords – credit card accounts – any external account you manage online, if your unsure about this contact your bank or other confidential organisations as soon as possible, explain to them what has happened, they will have procedures in place to help you which if implemented in time will save you lots of money and grief if any of these accounts have been compromised.
The purpose of hacking can be a number or reasons it could simply be the challenge of being able to break into someone else’s property, being able to inflict as much damage as possible to someone else’s property with little or no chance of being caught, hacking into some ones computer purely for financial gain, or breaking into some ones computer to obtain specific information, this is usually done by someone who knows the owner of the computer.
Make sure your computer is secure and you’ll never be wondering if your computer has been hacked into
Read our guides covering many aspects of computer security with help and tips on how to implement better computer security