What hackers can do to your computer is seriously dangerous.
The Internet is a safe place, but the people behind the screens are not. Computer threats are created by humans and not by technology. A knowledgeable computer predator has the ability to victimize you for their own advantage and the skills they have is a threat to your security.
By general definition, hackers are unauthorized users who break into your computer systems and have a few goals in mind. Steal, change, and destroy information.
A common tactic would be to install dangerous malware into your computer without you knowing. Through this, they will be able to access the information you have on your PC.
How do hackers find their victims?
A computer connected to the Internet is the best entry for hackers. They would trick their users by using phishing scams, spam emails, instant messages, and bogus websites to deliver dangerous malware to the computer and break its security.
Some computer hackers would also take advantage if you are not protected by a firewall. They can monitor your conversations and browse through the back-end of your personal website.
What hackers can do
The dangerous malware that the hacker has installed on your computer can transfer personal and financial information stored in your PC. Aside from that, they are able to:
- Steal usernames and passwords
- Steal money, credit card information, and bank accounts
- Request for a new PIN (Personal Identification Numbers)
- Make purchases
- Use your Social Security number
- Sell your information to other parties
They can also use your computer to attack other computers. There are hackers that take over a computer or thousands of computers, and use them to attack a website or system. This could be a big company or a government agency. For some who are up for random fun, it could be a popular website they want to immobilize for a day.
How to know if you’ve been hacked
Just like how there are numerous ways that a hacker can use your account, there are also different ways to know if you’ve been hacked.
In the situation where you feel like you’ve been hacked, first check your personal accounts, credit cards, and important online documents. If you noticed strange and questionable transactions, dangerous malware might already be lurking on your computer.
Other signs you’ve been hacked are:
- You receive ransomware and fake antivirus messages
- Internet searches are redirected
- Frequent and random popups
- Your contacts receive invitations you didn’t send
- Your online passwords are not working
- Your mouse moves on its own and in between programs
- Antimalware, Task Manager, or Registry Editor is disabled
- Your online bank account has suspicious or unwanted transactions or is missing money
- Your personal and confidential data are leaked
- Strange network traffic patterns
What to do about hackers and computer predators?
When you equip yourself with knowledge about how to protect yourself from hackers, you are already one step ahead of the game.
Protect yourself online
- Consistently check your personal and online bank accounts and immediately take action if there are suspicious activities
- Be cautious of entering chatrooms or posting personal web pages
- Limit the personal information you release online
- Be careful and monitor online “friends” who might have predatory tendencies
- Don’t disclose personal and financial information in online conversations.
- Be extremely cautious of meeting an online “friend” in person
Tips to Prevent Hacking
- Use a 2-way firewall
- Regularly update your operating system
- Increase browser security
- Don’t enter questionable websites
- Only download software from trusted websites. Be cautious of free software and file-sharing applications
Practice safe protocols
- Be extremely cautious of messages from unknown senders
- Immediately delete spam messages
- Install and invest in the best security software for your PC
- Use antivirus and antispy software