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Would You Know If Your Computer's Been Hacked? What Will You Do Next?

n this digital age, our reliance on computers has become ubiquitous. Whether for work, communication, or entertainment, our computers store a wealth of personal and sensitive information. Unfortunately, the rise of cybercrime has made it more important than ever to ensure the security of our devices. Hackers are constantly evolving their tactics to gain unauthorized access to our computers, and it's crucial to be aware of the signs that indicate a potential breach.

In this article, we will explore how you can determine if your computer has been hacked and what steps you should take if you suspect a security breach.


Signs of a Hacked Computer

Slow or Unusual Performance
If your computer suddenly becomes sluggish, freezes frequently, or crashes unexpectedly, it could be a sign of malicious activity. Hackers often run processes in the background, consuming system resources and affecting performance.

Unexpected Pop-ups or Ads
Pop-ups and ads that appear even when you're not browsing the internet might indicate a malware infection. These unwanted intrusions are often caused by adware or spyware that hackers use to gather sensitive information.

Changes to System Settings
If you notice unauthorised changes to your computer's settings, such as modified browser configurations, unfamiliar homepage, or new toolbars, it could be a sign that your computer has been compromised.

Unusual Network Activity
Keep an eye on your network activity. If you notice excessive data transfers or unfamiliar connections to your network, it may suggest that an intruder is accessing your computer remotely.

Disabled Antivirus or Firewall
Malware often disables or bypasses security measures on your computer to avoid detection. If you find that your antivirus or firewall has been deactivated without your knowledge, it could be an indication of a security breach.


What to Do If You Suspect a Security Breach

Disconnect from the Internet
If you suspect your computer has been hacked, disconnect from the internet immediately. Unplugging your Ethernet cable or disabling Wi-Fi will help prevent further unauthorised access and limit potential damage.

Run a Full System Scan
Update your antivirus software and run a thorough scan of your computer to identify and remove any malware or viruses that may have been installed.

Change Passwords
Change passwords for all your online accounts, including email, social media, banking, and other important platforms. Choose strong, unique passwords and consider using a password manager to enhance security.

Update and Patch Software
Ensure that all software, including your operating system, web browsers, and applications, are up to date with the latest security patches. Regular updates help address vulnerabilities that hackers may exploit.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Enable 2FA wherever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a secondary verification step, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your password.

Seek Professional Assistance
If you are unsure about how to proceed or suspect the breach is severe, seek help from a professional computer security expert or your organisation's IT department. They can assist in identifying and mitigating the extent of the security breach.



With the ever-increasing threat of cyber attacks, it is essential to be vigilant and proactive in protecting our computers from unauthorized access. Being aware of the signs of a hacked computer empowers us to take immediate action and minimise potential damage. Remember to regularly update your security software, practice good password hygiene, and be cautious when clicking on suspicious links or downloading files. By taking these precautions and promptly responding to security breaches, we can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cybercrime and protect our valuable digital assets.

Stay safe and stay secure!