THE Kaspersky, one of the world’s leading cybersecurity companies, has mapped more than 380,000 malicious files circulating on the internet per day. The so-called malware has a clear objective: to install itself on computers and other electronics to steal information, whether personal or corporate.
Having access to the device, a hacker can easily change information, change the machine’s performance and even control what is displayed on the screen – not to mention the ability to access the bank account. To anticipate criminal action, see below 7 ways to identify if your computer is infected and how to protect it from a future attack.
1. Stay alert with pop-up messages
A common way for antivirus programs to warn you that a computer is under attack is through a pop-up window. But hackers also often use this mechanism to confuse users.
So, before agreeing to a disclaimer, make sure it’s legit. The best thing to do is to close the window that opened by itself and run the protection software manually. If there is indeed a threat, he will report again.
2. Check spam
Email message is the most used way by criminals to infect several accounts at the same time. Therefore, always be suspicious when you receive an email asking to access an external link, even if the sender is a close contact.
Also, check the sent box to make sure your account isn’t being used to spread malware. If possible, ask colleagues if they have received any suspicious emails from your account.
3. View installed apps
In your computer’s application center, check that all programs have been installed by you. In this analysis, it is possible to find unexpected – and even fake – applications that could be performing malicious acts on your machine.
If you don’t know or suspect any of them, uninstall them manually immediately. If not, there is a good chance that your computer is at risk, so enlist the help of an antivirus.
4. Be wary of password change requests
Also watch out for emails with requests to change passwords that you didn’t make. Although the messages are legitimate – that is, sent by the bank – the change request could have been made by a hacker who is monitoring your computer.
In this case, immediately contact the institution involved in the transaction to confirm that you are still in control of your bank account. Also, change your passwords to make it harder for the criminal to access.
5. Check for slow and crashing computers
It is normal that, over time, a computer experiences slowness or failure to boot. However, one needs to keep an eye out when these problems arise unexpectedly. This is because malicious files tend to alter the performance of machines, making their use difficult.
6. Plugins and extensions may indicate viruses
Another point of attention should be possible changes in the browser pattern used on the internet. Changes to the homepage and toolbars or the appearance of plugins and extensions could indicate an external intrusion.
7. Camera light turns on out of nowhere
Some webcams are equipped with a light that lights up whenever the accessory is in use. If this light comes on without your command, most likely an intruder is monitoring the equipment. With a virus installed, they can turn devices on and off and still read what is playing on the computer screen.
Four precautions to prevent invasion
You can take some steps in advance to prevent your computer from being hacked. See tips that can be put into practice right away
Keep your operating system up to date Companies constantly update their systems to deal with new threats. Therefore, whenever an update appears, run the installation. In the PC settings there is the option to leave automatic updates.
Install and run antivirus software In the cyber market, there are several options for protection applications. It is crucial that any computer has software like this active, as it alerts you whenever a threat is detected. Microsoft makes Windows Defender available, while Apple keeps XProtect, both free.
Use strong S passwordsEvery time you create a new account, enter strong and unique passwords. This will make it difficult for a hacker to be able to access multiple accounts with a single combination. Experts recommend the use of numbers, letters and special characters in the composition.
Two-factor authentication In addition to changing passwords, opt for two-factor authentication to access your bank and email accounts. In this way, even if someone discovers the main password, they will not be able to access the registration, since the login depends on a second combination that is sent to the registered smartphone.