Tip of the Week: Think You’ve Been Hacked? Here are 5 Ways to Check



Any business that deals with online technology needs to be aware of the dangers that come with the territory. Hackers are more common nowadays than ever before, and organizations that don’t take a proactive approach to keeping threats out of their systems will have to suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, some organizations won’t be aware that they’ve been hacked until it’s far too late.

Even if your PC has been infected or breached by malware, there are some simple telltale signs that could allude to a potential security risk. Even if it’s not a hacker, it could be hinting that there’s something else that’s severely wrong with your network.

Signs to Look For
If you’re experiencing any of the following signs, there’s a chance that your computer (and even your network) has been targeted by hackers or malware:

  • Files are moved or missing: The classic case of a missing or misplaced file is that it’s either the result of user error, or a hacking attack. It’s very possible that your files have been stolen or altered by malware.
  • Your computer speed is slow: If your system is infected with malware, your PC will be running slower than normal. This is because threats like worms, trojans, and viruses tend to eat up your computer’s resources, slowing it down. By using the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete), you can check to see if your PC’s resources are being used by unaccounted for software.
  • Your browser’s homepage has changed: One of the common ways you can tell if your computer has been hacked is if your browser’s homepage has been changed. Unless you meant to change your homepage to a sketchy search engine with questionable ads, chances are you’ve been infected by malware.
  • New toolbars have appeared in your browser: Often times, you might find free software online that comes attached with what’s known as “crapware.” This is software that you don’t want on your PC, and in many cases it could be malicious or at least unsecure. If you have new, unwanted toolbars or ads in your browser window, chances are you’ve been infected.
  • Questionable access log activity: If your organization’s network has unauthorized administrator access happening behind the scenes, you might be dealing with a hacking attack. Hackers like to use legitimate credentials to access your network, and doing so lets them bypass your security measures. The only way to tell whether there’s unauthorized activity is if you check your access logs.

Regardless of how vigilant you are, there are still some threats that have measures put into place that mask themselves from detection. If you want to detect these threats, you need to be running a centralized antivirus solution that can identify and eliminate advanced threats.

If you don’t know the current status of your network security, and are wary of being hacked in the future, Symmetric IT Group can assist you with a penetration test. Our professional technicians can analyze your network for any potential security problems. We can then suggest the best ways to plug the gap in your defenses so that even the strongest online threats are met with maximum resistance.

Of course, preventing threats from entering your network in the first place is of the utmost importance. Keeping them out can minimize the amount of damage done from threats and limit your data’s exposure to them. With an enterprise-level firewall and antivirus solution, and technologies like spam blocking and web content filtering, threats won’t stand a chance.

For more information about cyber security and IT management, give Symmetric IT Group a call at (813) 749-0895.

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