Computer hacks have increased in the recent past such that almost everybody will encounter it once in his lifetime. And in this case, it is not the simple hacks done by amateurs but a well-organized hack that has a severe threat to your personal data.
At such times as these, when personal data is golden, everybody is at risk of being hacked. However, it can be an uphill task to know if a hacker is on your computer because the hacker will, by all means, hide his actions.
More especially if you are an average computer user, it is tough to tell if a hack is going on. However, there are some clues that you can look for if you are searching for the techniques on how to know if a hacker is on your computer!
How to Know If a Hacker is On Your Computer?
By definition, a computer hack can be explained as someone getting unauthorized access to documents stored on your computer. This can be through physically opening your computer by someone who knows your password and leaving no trace of activities on your computer.
On contrast, network hacking occurs when someone on the internet penetrates the hardware or software that is protecting your computer from any external access. In most cases, there is no guarantee of any clues left on your computer.
A professional hacker will not leave any traceable clue that he gained access to your computer. In most cases, they use the “rootkit,” which helps to alter the normal functioning of your computer.
Also, in the case of real-time hacking, the hacker can empty the event logs, modify the timestamps and date file, rename or hide files, install malicious programs that will be disguised as legitimate programs, and so much more.
So, how will you know if a hacker is on your computer? Well, look for clues:
Clues to know if a hacker is on your computer
If you are suspicious that your computer is being hacked, there are a few things that you can do to ascertain whether your computer is being hacked.
The first thing to do is to run an anti-malware scan tool. The tool will scan for any malware program on your computer. Perform a full computer scan for you to know if a hacker is on your computer. Also, ensure that you scan all the programs and that their database is updated.
Most of the malware programs communicate with each other via the internet. Therefore, look for any internet activity that might be running on your computer. When you are looking for internet activity, be on the lookout of any program that you do not know, and that is sending any data via the internet to a user that you also do not know.
However, beware that there is numerous regular communication that goes on the internet. So, do not assume that any communication you see is malware communication.
If you find any communication that you do not understand, research about it and know what kind of communication id going on.
In a similar way, there are several communications that go on in your disk. Therefore, look for your disk activity in the same manner as you looked for internet activity on your computer.
Most importantly, beware that there are several disk activities going on, so do not mistake any disk activity as an evil activity. Once again, research about any disk activity that you do not understand.
Besides that activities that we have mentioned above, look for any process that is running on your computer. Look for any procedures that you do not expect to be running on your computer, and they are running. However, not all processes running on your computer are evil.
As we explained above, there are several right processes that are running on your computer, which makes your computer to operate well. Some of these right processes are running even when your computer is not in operation.
Therefore, if you come across any process that is running on your computer, and you do not know it, research and understand the appropriate action to take.
Even if you are an average computer user and you suspect that there is a hacker on your computer, you can also have a look at the event viewer. You are likely to find a lot of errors that have been identified by the event viewer.
However, you do not have to panic once you see a lot of errors. This is a normal occurrence because the event log is a mess itself. Although the event viewer is such a mess with a lot of errors, if you know what you are looking for, it can give you some clues if there is a hacker on your computer.
But remember, as we said at the begging of this write-up, it is difficult to know, but there are high chances that you will find some helpful tips.
What to do if a hacker on your computer?
If you suspect that there is a hacker on your computer, the best thing to do is to switch it off. Do not use your computer until you figure out what you should do.
If you use your computer to operate on your bank online, then ensure that you look for professional help as soon as possible to avoid any unexpected ending.
Most importantly, ensure that you secure your computer against malware activities. This is crucial because prevention is better than the recovery of lost data.
Besides that, make sure that you review all the applications that you have installed on your computer. If you come across any file or application that you did not install, uninstall it immediately.
Another thing to do is to run a full computer virus scan, which will help to detect any viruses that might have infected your computer or find any malware programs on your computer.
Above all these, ensure that you change the passwords to all your online accounts. Changing the passwords will help to hinder the transfer of any data from your account that the hacker might be interested in.
Protect your computer against hackers
It is paramount to protect your computer against hackers. Prevention is the most effective way than knowing when a hacker is on your computer. There are four following ways through which you can protect your computer from hackers:
- Use secure software, which will help to detect any malware programs. Some of the best security software to use is the anti-malware tool
- Educate yourself about the latest threats that are happening on the internet. Equally important, educate yourself about the safe internet behaviours that you should practice while using the internet.
- Ensure that all the programs you use on your computer are updated. New malware programs are being developed daily, and an outdated program might not be able to detect a new malware program. Therefore, update your software regularly.
- It is critical to know how to secure an internet connection to your computer. Equally important, know when your internet connection needs to be secured. A secure internet connection will go a long way into protecting against hacking.
If you find out that your computer is or has been hacked, then it is time to change your internet usage behaviour and learn better and safer online habits that will go a long way to enhance your security. Hereunder are some of the online safety precautions that you can take:
- Start using a VPN while browsing. The VPN will hide your IP address, and you can browse securely and privately without anyone detecting any of your internet activities.
- Ensure that you do not click on any links sent to you from unknown people. Equally important, make sure that you do not download any applications that are sent to you from unknown sources. Most of the hackers send links with catchy explanations. Which, when you click, contain malware programs that will alter your computer functioning.
- If you are managing any online accounts from your computer, then, if possible, ensure that you activate the two-factor authentication process. This process will help to secure your account. Because if one step is bridged, then you can get a notification, and you will detect any malicious activities on your account.
- On a regular basis, ensure that you clear your browser’s cookies. A hacker can detect your online activities by looking at your browser’s cookies. If possible, do not activate the cookies. Because they will identify your online activities, which will make you an easy target for hackers.
- Keep your entire online accounts password secure with the help of the password manager. A password manager will help to protect your passwords against any malfunction. And most importantly, if you detect any malicious activities on your password, change it as soon as possible.
Most importantly, please do not wait for your computer to be hacked. And then take the safety precautions that we have highlighted above. The best defensive is the best offensive. The best time to secure your computer against a hacker is between yesterday and tomorrow – NOW.