We recently discussed how a hacker takes over a website, how it happens, and how to know if your site has been hacked. This month, we’ll discuss another common thing hackers take over – a device. Just like hacking a website, hacking a device is becoming increasingly easier as artificial intelligence becomes more knowledgeable. Because of this, users need to be aware of what may happen if their device is hacked.
You’ve Been Hacked!
Imagine this. You come into work for the day and turn on your computer. The startup is taking longer than it should and random programs that you didn’t even install are popping up and not going away. You finally get running and open your email, but you can’t sign in to your account because your login isn’t being recognized. You try going on your browser to search for answers, but you keep getting redirected to pages you didn’t click on.
These are all common errors one experiences when their computer has been hacked. If someone has gotten into your computer, odds are they changed logins and downloaded malware that makes your computer not only run slower but also creates random popups and more.
How Can You Prevent Your Computer from Being Hacked?
There are numerous things you can do to protect your device and sensitive information. First off, understand what type of antivirus software your computer runs so you can detect what an authentic alert looks like if one is received. If an alert you get doesn’t match, don’t click on it! That goes for any random popups you may see on your device.
We all know a common way one gets hacked is by clicking on a phishing email. Clicking on a phishing link or opening an attachment in one of these messages may install malware, like viruses, spyware, or ransomware, on your device. The main issue is that it is undetectable to the average user, therefore one doesn’t know they have been hacked until their device begins to act as I described above.
One of the best ways to prevent your computer from being hacked is to frequently (about every 6-12 months) change your passwords. When changing a password, be sure to make it complex by mixing upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, make sure to keep your passwords someplace secure like a password manager.
Can Cell Phones Get Hacked?
Any device that can be connected to a network can be hacked. This includes laptops, cell phones, tablets, and more. When a cell phone gets hacked, users will notice there are apps that are constantly running in the background that they probably didn’t install and the system lagging. They will also notice their device showing random popups, or their phone feeling hot to the touch.
How To Prevent Your Phone from Being Hacked
When it comes to protecting your phone from being hacked, the first thing to remember is to never use public WiFi – everyone has access to the network, meaning it’s easier for hackers to see your information. This also goes for Bluetooth. Although Bluetooth is meant for personal area use, it can connect to devices that are feet away.
Like a laptop, your phone has passwords. These should also be updated every 6-12 months with a stronger, more complex password. Another thing to keep in mind is deleting browser history, cookies, and cache regularly. These are like a virtual footprint – they show exactly what websites you went to that day, which provides extra data for hackers.
Lastly, install a security app that increases antivirus protection and keeps an eye on any suspicious activity. Your device could also benefit from a VPN. A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, routes all your internet activity through a secure connection, which prevents others from seeing what you’re doing online and where.
If these signs are occurring and you don’t know what to do or where to begin, contact us. We will help you understand what is happening and how to prevent this from recurring. We have a team of experts ready to assist you in protecting your website and your company.