Hacker Concerns? Then this post is for you.

With more people home due to the virus orders, we sit and use our technology more and more each day. Use it enough and visit the wrong web sites, open the wrong email, or even click on a link from a text message could land your device in hot water.

Studies are now starting to come out that shows a larger percent of people are failing to keep their device’s protection current. Below are just a few signs you can look at to see if your traveling down the wrong road:

Google Search Results Flag The Site as Hacked or Harmful

If you notice the following in the search results that include the site your are visiting, it has likely been hacked.

Your Malware Scanner Alerts you to an Infection or Hack

If you’re using a malware scanner, you may receive this type of alert (above) showing a site has been hacked. This is the quickest method of discovering a hack because it usually has the shortest time between getting infected and discovery.

Another consideration comes from the use of free wifi. Here the dangers come from accessing free wifis and little did you know – but the person on the other end is actually a hacker.

Nothing good comes from free wifis. Always check with the IT support personnel before using any network that is free.

Have I Been Pwned?

“Have I Been Pwned” is one of the oldest, most popular, and best sites in the game. The site works hard to track down breaches, verify them as legitimate, and catch data so you can check it out. Access to the site is free by going here.

Computers

Hackers and their malware are always changing. There’s always a new data breach happening, and sadly, there’s a sucker born every minute. Sure, there are cybersecurity professions that combat these threats every day, but is that enough to keep our private information safe?

Not all hacks are transparent, and antimalware doesn’t help us sleep better at night. If a hacker is sniffing around, you need to know. Here are a couple of pointers to consider if you think your computer has been hacked:

  • Has performance been on the decline?
    • Outside of installing large bloated software applications, performance issues can also be related to a failing hard drive or other computer components.
  • Does your system seem to reboot by itself more than usual?
    • Some people might experience issues of the Blue Screen of Death simply because they installed noncompatible applications. Be sure to check with the software vendor if you’re installing the correct version for your computer.
  • Has your computer been exposed to power surges?
    • Power surges are notorious for making a computer system act irregularly. Be sure you are using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and you check its status often.
  • Could my files be completely wack and do I need to defrag them?
    • Windows 10, like Windows 8 and Windows 7 before it, automatically defragments files for you on a schedule (by default, once a week). … However, Windows does defragment SSDs once a month if necessary and if you have System Restore enabled.

Cellphones

When deciding if your cellphone has been hacked, there are lots of ways to check. However, be aware no two cellphones operate the same even if they are the exact same make and model. Why is this? The answer is simple. In many cases, the user is not the same user for both phones. So here are a few pointers to consider:

  • Performance Differences
    • Is your device operating slower, are web pages and apps harder to load, or does your battery never seem to keep a charge? What about your data plan? Are you exceeding your normal limits? These are all signs that you have malware running in the background, zapping your phone’s resources.
    • You may have downloaded a bad app, or clicked on a dangerous link in a text message. And malware, like Bitcoin miners, can strain computing power, sometimes causing the phone to heat up, even when you aren’t using it. Cellphones have internal chips that regulate the heat. But excessive heat can also be from using the phone more than usual.
  • Mystery Apps or Data
    • If you find apps you haven’t downloaded, or calls, texts, and emails that you didn’t send, a hacker is probably in your system. They may be using your device to send premium-rate calls or messages or to spread malware to your contacts.
  • Pop-ups or Strange Screen Savers
    • Although seeing a pop-up might be a sign, consider the age of your phone and how you have settings set.

So before you start to find that forensic specialist, consider the above. And if you need to hire a forensic specialist, know the first process they will use will to collect the information in a forensic manner. This is the siglne most important step. From there the forensic specialist can investigate the data to pin down what’s going on.