Imagine for a moment that your computer is under attack. Your personal information – including passwords, social security numbers and credit card information – is at risk. How can you tell if your computer has been compromised? Here are some ways to spot a cyber-threat:
- Strange pop-ups or messages that appear on your screen out of nowhere: cyber-criminals often use fake messages or pop-ups to try and lure you into opening a malicious file or giving away your personal information.
- Your computer is running slowly: cyber-attacks can slow down your computer, so if it seems to be running more slowly than usual, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
- You can’t access certain websites or applications: cyber-criminals may block access to certain websites or applications in an effort to keep you from discovering that your computer has been compromised.
- Your anti-virus software isn’t working correctly: if your anti-virus software suddenly stops working or starts giving you false positives, there’s a good chance your computer has been infected with malware.
- Your computer is sending out strange emails or messages: cyber-criminals may use your computer to send out spam or malicious links to your friends and family members.
- Your keyboard suddenly starts typing on its own: cyber-criminals can take control of your computer’s keyboard and type whatever they want, so if you notice that your keyboard is acting strangely, it’s a sign that your computer has been compromised.
- You can’t open your files or folders: cyber-criminals may encrypt your files in an effort to hold them ransom, so if you can’t open any of your files or folders it could be a sign that you’ve been infected.
- Your computer is showing weird ads: cyber-criminals often use malware to inject ads into your web browsers, so if you start seeing weird or irrelevant ads on websites that you normally visit, it could be a sign that your computer has been infected.
- Your anti-spyware software isn’t working correctly: if you suddenly start getting pop-ups telling you that your computer is infected with spyware, it’s likely that your computer has indeed been compromised.
- You’ve lost money or personal information: cyber-criminals often use cyber-attacks to steal money or personal information, so if you’ve lost money or had your personal information stolen in recent months, there’s a good chance your computer has been attacked.
If you’re concerned that your computer may have been compromised, it’s important to take action right away. One of the best ways to protect yourself against cyber-threats is to use a managed information technology services provider. A good managed services provider will help you keep your computer safe from cyber-attacks and can help you recover if your computer is ever compromised.