Hackers just love getting into other people’s computers and causing problems. Many times, they just do this for fun, but the damage they cause can be irreversible to both individuals and businesses. If your computer is hacked, you need to take all the necessary steps to gain back the security you deserve and to get the hacker out of your system and away from your important files before he is able to do any major damage (if he hasn’t already).

Tips for Determining if Your Computer Has Been Hacked

The first step is determining if your computer has actually been hacked. If you have a feeling your system has been compromised, you will have to find evidence that your assumptions are correct before you can take steps to remedy the problem.

If you see new programs or files that have suddenly appeared on your computer, you may have been hacked, or it could be that your operating system performed an update that installed these programs or files, or a recently installed program brought along these other downloads at the same time. Be sure to evaluate all new files and folders on your system to determine what their true source could be. Other indicators that your computer may have been hacked, or at least hijacked while on the internet, are spyware and malware.

Hackers will gain access to your computer by installing Trojans and Backdoors onto your system, so if you see these on your computer, you’ve definitely been hacked and need to take prompt action.

If you’ve recently participated in an IRC chat, and you notice strange things happening on your computer, you may have been hacked through the IRC client.

Other signs that you’ve been hacked include: your passwords have been changed, your email program is sending spam, there’s an increase in activity over your network, security programs on your system have been uninstalled, your homepage has been changed, and there is other activity or prompts that seem foreign to you.

In the Event You’ve Been Hacked…

If you figure out that your computer has been hacked, run a full system scan using your anti-virus software and make sure your firewall is turned on. Make sure your operating system has all of its necessary updates, and update your anti-virus software as well.

Then back everything up onto external hard drives if it’s been a while since you last did so and there are files that absolutely need to be saved. Otherwise, don’t bother doing this because you risk backing up infected files, and that won’t do you any good.

Reformat the entire system, removing everything and then reinstalling it all over again. You have to make sure all traces of the virus are gone to reduce risk of reinfection. Then change your ways, always backing everything up regularly while maintaining a secure anti-virus program and firewall.

When in doubt, though, call an IT professional for help, or at least for advice on how to keep a hacking from happening again.

Author Bio: Louise Bentley is a professional business women and frequently visits itsupportlondon.org.uk when experiencing problems with her computer system.