Have I Been Hacked? 5 Ways To Know If You’ve Been Hacked

Since most everyone these days is using a smartphone and/or a computer on a daily basis, we all run the risk of being hacked and listed below are possible indications that you have been compromised and the sooner you realize it, the sooner you can lessen further threats.

  1. Can’t login to your account(s) - There’s a possibility that the account you’re trying to login into has been hacked and the hacker has already changed your password. By the way, don’t ignore any emails or text messages from companies that you do business with, since most provide notification that password change has occurred and if you did not initiate that change, call the company in reference to the account in question or quickly follow the “recovery” process for your password.

  2. You get a “ransom” message - By now, most of us have read about ransomware. Malware locks up your data and a cyber criminal demands a payment typically in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin in exchange to get data back. For this reasons as many others, it’s important to have the ability to restore your data, and you’re able to do this with a remote backup solution.

  3. Computer or your phone running slower than usual - There are more than one viable reasons that your system is slow. Reasons could include having too many programs running in the background, not enough “free hard drive” space, etc. It’s also possible that your computer is infected with a virus or malware. At this point, run a malware scan to detect if any are on your computer/system.

  4. Unauthorized financial transactions - One of the most common ways to know if you’ve been hacked is from unauthorized use of your credit/debit card from online payments. I would recommend setting up an alert/notification for your account that notifies you via email or SMS that a purchase was made over a dollar amount you specify. For example, set up an alert for purchases over $5.00.

  5. Sent messages being delivered that you never sent – Ironically, I received a message from one of my contacts on Facebook the evening before writing this blog. This can happen on email, SMS, social media, instant messenger apps, etc. When this happens, a hacker can gain access to your account and reach as many of your contacts as possible whether it is for identity theft or access to personal data. None of these are for a good reason. As a best practice, if this happens to you, immediately change your password for that account and also, other accounts that you used the same password for prior to the hack. You should also make it a habit to change your password every 90 days and to implement good password management.

Be aware of the common indications listed above and do your part by updating your operating systems software! Remember to be mindful of fake phishing emails and change your password every 90 days.

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