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How to Know Your Computer Has Been Hacked

Posted by Ravi Varma Thumati on March 19, 2010

Viral infections do not cause your computer to crash anymore. They keep you computer busy in the background while your computer is working so you do not realize anything is wrong. A key logger program attaches to your system, so they can log your keystrokes when you type your password or credit card numbers when purchasing or paying bills online. They also will use your computer for a server to mail out spam, which you may not know unless your Internet service disables your service until you call in.

  • Step 1

Do you have pop-up ads that won’t stop or go away? If you say, yes, then you may have been hacked.

  • Step 2

Is your computer continually slowing down? If you say, yes, then you may have been hacked.

  • Step 3

Are you being redirected to other websites unintentionally? Or are search results showing things you didn’t type into the search bar? If you say, yes, then you may have been hacked.

  • Step 4

Does that sound like you are part of a joke? Well, it is not a very funny one! But it could be you’ve been hacked with programs sneaking into your system in the background. At this point, if you said, yes, to any or all of them, then you have been hacked.

  • Step 5

Now what to do about it? Fight back! It is your computer not a hackers paradise, so take it back.

* Make sure your anti-virus program is installed and up-to-date. AVG has a free edition online or you can get their trial version. There are many other programs online and you can get them at download.com for a trial period. Run the virus program and spybot if you have it.

  • Step 6

How do I know what information has been taken?

1 It is very hard to tell what has been taken. Not every infection steals your data. Some just serve unwanted ads.
2. Others reroute your search result to alternate Web sites you don’t want to see. Others log your every keystroke.
3. The anti-virus vendors have extensive databases about what the known infections do and don’t do. Check with them to see what kind of damage may have been done to your machine.

How to Tell If Hackers Got Into a Computer

As essential as the Internet is to many computer users, it does come with some dangers–primarily the ability of a hacker to hack into your computer, plant Trojans and viruses and steal private information. Luckily, there are a number of ways to tell if your computer has been hacked. Unfortunately many of these checks only work if the user has taken some preventative steps to begin with.

  • Step 1

Look for irregular activity on your computer. Irregular activity includes your computer suddenly running very slowly even though you are not doing much on it. You may have noticed documents missing or misplaced, or an email that has been sent out by you that you don’t remember typing. Perhaps your computer restarts for no apparent reason. These are all signs your computer’s security may have been compromised.

  • Step 2

Run a full, system-wide file check. Search for recently modified system-wide files. You can do this by using a free utility program like NIS File Check. These system-wide file check programs run the program when you know the computer is clean. The program creates a database of your clean computer. When you suspect your computer has been hacked, you run the program again. The program compares the two databases and notifies you of all changes made to your system files.

  • Step 3

Get a spyware program. Running a full, system-wide check can be time-consuming. If you would rather have a program that will do these tests for you on a regular basis, consider getting a spyware program. Spybot Search & Destroy and Ad-Aware are two popular free programs.

  • Step 4

Run a port scan. Most Trojans must wait for connections from the hacker (so the hacker can control the program), and must listen in on a port. Use a program like Fport or TCPview to view what programs are currently running and listening in on your ports. That way, you can look for suspicious-looking files and delete them.

  • .Step 5

If you would prefer to have a program listen in to your ports for you on a regular basis, consider getting a firewall program. Zone Alarm is one popular program. A firewall program will not only listen in to the ports, but will notify you of suspicious activity. You can set it up to only allow certain programs to access the Internet.

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One Response to “How to Know Your Computer Has Been Hacked”

  1. Thank you! This is so simple to understand ! what you have given!!!This is best utility for every one!Many Many ………………………………………Thanks

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