Common Signs your computer has been Hacked & How to deal with it? -
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Common Signs your computer has been Hacked & How to deal with it?

Considering today`s constantly evolving threatscape, it is hard not to get worried over the possibility of information security breach and data theft especially for organizations that are highly dependent on Information technology related services for their business operations. Most of the SMEs that don’t have specialized information security mechanism in place rely on Antivirus and Antimalware software for preventing their computers from infections. However, the reality is these Antimalware scanners as a whole are horrifically inaccurate especially against new types of viruses and infections. Most these types of software are equipped with tools to catch only previously recognized malware. In addition to that, many other programs that use completely virtualized environment, monitor systems and network traffic usually fail to prevent latest viruses and malware. Here I have discussed few sure signs that indicate you have been hacked and ways to respond to any such event.  Regardless of nature and type of the event, first you must completely restore your system to last known good state before proceeding any further. In a case for whatever reason you don’t want full restoration, you must follow recommended steps that are discussed here.  

You have Ransomware Message.

Ransomware messages are one of most common malware infection that in terms of its severity are most sophisticated and difficult to handle. It simply locks down your precious data and in some cases your entire operating system.If you are lucky this message may go away with a simple reboot. Even few of such programs don’t always lock your data, if with reboot the message appears again then you have limited options left.
How to deal with it?   First of all, if you have got a good recent data backup then all you have to do is recover and restore your data.  If you are using cloud backup service then there is a good chance that you have backup copies of your data, however, don’t be overconfident not all backup services can help you recover your data. Contact your cloud service provider through phone or email and explain them the situation, they may be able to help you. Otherwise, paying ransom is the last resort, although information security experts recommend against paying as despite paying you may still not get unlocking key. But, the reality is in most cases they will send you the key to decrypt data. If your data is not critical and you are not in hurry to get it back you must wait, in some cases, security experts come up with a solution in few days if similar ransomware has affected many other users.  

You have Fake Antivirus messages.

Although such attacks are declining Fake Antivirus messages are amongst surest sign that your system has been hacked. In most cases by the time you see this type of message, the damage has already been done. Trying to stop it usually is too late.
How to deal with it? You should be well aware of how legit antivirus warning looks like. If you notice fake antivirus warning, immediately power down your computer. Then boot up your system in safe mode, and uninstall any software that is newly installed. It is often easy to locate what program is embedded with fake antivirus software from add and remove program section in control panel. Nowadays, there are many other ways instead of computer virus like fake computer tech support scam message that offer free support when you call them and allow them access to your computer they install such utility into your computer that gives them complete access to your computer. In all cases be vigilant and keep an eye what is installed on your computer.  

You have unwanted Browser Toolbar

It is one of the most common signs of system hacking, when you or your employees try using the computer they see so many unwanted browser toolbars with different names and claim to help you. Unless you are sure you have installed that toolbar yourself, it is better to uninstall it without wasting time. In some cases, it may be a phishing attack that will redirect you to fake online banking websites.
How to deal with it?    Most of the popular web browsers allow users to review all the installed toolbars and plugins in browser setting. You must remove any active toolbar that you don’t want to install. You must remove such toolbar from setting. If it is not shown in the toolbar then you must try resetting your web browsers to the earlier good known setting.  

Your Web browser is Hijacked.   

Some types of software completely highjack your web browsers and redirect you to the websites that you don’t intend to visit. They make money on this fake traffic however, you can easily spot your browser has been hacked when you are not able to browse internet. In some cases, if you are able to browse internet you may get fake search engine results. You must check if your search engine is displaying correct result, for example, write something check results on other computer and match them with results on your computer.
How to deal with this issue.   You must follow the same instructions as discussed in the previous section and try to remove it from web browser. In other cases scan your computer with malware or antivirus may also help. It may even be some malware utility doing it so you may also check add and remove programs section in control panel to remove it. If you suspect, your computer has been hacked and you don’t know how to deal with such situation. You can call Whitehats Support for professional computer support service for home and office users in Dubai.

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