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Computer Hacked: What To Do Now

Updated on September 22, 2012

What is Hacking

Is your computer hacked? what to do now. Let's first start with some hacking definitions. Hacking is the practice of making modifications to a system in order to achieve an aim different of the creator's true objective. A person who involves in an act of hacking is called a Hacker. This is a more formal definition, but speaking candidly, a hacker is someone who breaks into your resources and uses them, without your approval, for his own false purposes.

Dangers of Hacking

The dangers of hacking are countless. Some of the most dreaded ones are:

  • Misuse of resources
  • Stealing of personal information.
  • Spoil of Reputation

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Is My Computer Hacked

Although there are a range of different signs indicating that your computer has been hacked but the situation becomes ever so critical when there are no changes or symptoms helping to disguise the hacker. Most sophisticated hackers leave no clues behind to go against them. In these cases, it can be quite techy for an average computer user to detect the intruder. Without going in too technical detail and making you scratch your head, these are the common symptoms that will help you to diagnose if your computer system has been compromised.

New Programs Installed

In some cases, you see new programs installed on your computers which do not belong to you. New programs can often be installed because of completely legal reasons like operating system updates and as an additional add-on for a software you installed yourself or they may also be installed by someone else who shares your computer. So, its good to confirm everything first.

Commonly software installed on your computer which may indicate a hacker intrusion are Backdoors, Trojans, IRC clients and rogue antivirus programs. These programs can perform several tasks for the hacker from weakening your computer defences allowing the hacker to penetrate deeper as well as collect your personal data and send it to the hacker.

Increased Network Activity

If your network activity seems high, even when you're not doing anything, someone else may be using your machine. In most cases, your computer becomes slow, or in more techy terms, turns into a "zombie".

Security Programs Modified

Security programs like antivirus and anti-spyware installed on your computer may be modified by a hacker to allow it to penetrate even more in your system. So, you may find your antivirus and antispyware programs uninstalled or deactivated on its own.

Passwords Changed

Online Passwords

When hackers breakthrough in your computer system, they install such software which track your keystrokes in order to find your passwords and send the data to the hacker. Usually, when hackers hack an online account, they change the password. Go for resetting your password and if you find that the your email has been changed or the feature doesn't work, then contact your service provider company because they are the ones who can solve your problem. Email accounts are most commonly hacked and used by hackers to send spams and viruses to your contacts.

System Passwords

System passwords are also changed by hackers in order to minimize your control over your system. If you find yours changed, then its surely a hacker's activity because no passwords change on its own.

Computer Acting On Its Own

If you see processes running that are not started by you, then they may belong to a hacker. These activities can make your computer drastically slow as they use a substantial amount of CPU resources. Sometimes, a computer works on its own like the cursor moved or any key pressed indicating an hacker intrusion.

Computer Hacked: What To Do

If you've checked everything and now you're sure that your computer is compromised, then don't panic. There are some simple steps you can take to prevent further damage as well as recover your system.

Backup Your PC

One of the most important things to do, if your computer get hacked is to backup your most important files and data to ensure that you don't lose anything precious. Save your files, applications and data on an external hard drive. This will protect your data in case your computer dies. Although, you should backup your system regularly, but definitely do it now.

Turn Off All Networks

The first thing to do to stop the hacker is to unplug all internet connections (ethernet, isdn, etc) to prevent further hacker access. This is not a complete solution because it only cuts your computer from hacker's access. Although this will not shut down the running processes, it will protect your computer from further damage.

Run Scans

If you still have your antivirus and antispyware programs installed on your computer, then you have one thing in your advantage. Run security scans for your whole system and find infected files. I recommend coping the infected files and saving them to a password-protected zip file and send it your antivirus and antispyware company before you delete them.

Format Your Computer And Reinstall Operating System

I hate to say this, but this is surely the best way to ensure that your computer is free from all nuisances (hackers, viruses, spyware, etc). This will cleanse your computer of every type of malicious software. Do this if you have no other choice left or better, contact a professional before you take this step.

How To Protect Your Computer From Hacking

"Prevention is better than cure"

Hacking is a nuisance but it you can protect your computer by following some basic measures, like:

  • Educate yourself about hacking and the methods of hacking.
  • Scan your computer on regular basis.
  • Use firewalls when connecting to the internet.

Here's a complete guide featuring the tips and tricks to protect your computer from hackers. Simple Tips To Protect Computer Against Hackers

One of the best and most important step in ensuring a hacker free system is to have a good antivirus and antispyware software installed. These are some tools to assist you in protecting your computer from hackers and their malicious actions. Computer hacked what to do

Norton AntiVirus 2012 - 1 User [Download] [Old Version]
Norton AntiVirus 2012 - 1 User [Download] [Old Version]

A must have tool to ensure a hacker free tool. It proactively stops online threats before they can infect your computer. Detects and eliminates viruses and spyware; protects against dangerous applications. Complete allround protection.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 - 3 PCs [Old Version]
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 - 3 PCs [Old Version]

Kaspersky is one of the leading names when it comes to antivirus and antispyware software. The Kaspersky antivirus 2012 is built with all the tools to provide premium protection. Provides real-time protection against viruses, spyware, Trojans, rootkits, and more. Scans website and email to eliminate online threats.

McAfee Total Protection 2012--3 Users [Old Version]
McAfee Total Protection 2012--3 Users [Old Version]

Mcafee Total Protection is an economical product which has all the great features. It is loaded with anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing and anti-spam to eliminate all malicious programs.



Hacking is dangerous but it is possible to ensure protection for your computer with basic security measures.

If you like my work, please don't hesitate to share with your friends and comment to let me know of your feedback.


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    • profile image

      Arsalan 3 years ago from pakistan

      good work.

    • anasshad profile image

      Anas Shad 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Hey FrogyFish, thanks for visiting and commenting. Its always great to know that your work could be useful to others. Keep visiting Man.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

      I recently got my computer fixed because it started messing up things in Word and was very slow. I had Panda Cloud, firewall, Windows Defender and ran ESET online...none of them found the malware. It is frustrating to worry about the hackers and their successes. Thanks for good tips here, and keep up the great advice for us.

    • anasshad profile image

      Anas Shad 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for your visit, Pearl. Great to know you liked it.

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      Thanks for sharing this advice... you have provided some solid advice here, especially in regard to using an external hard drive and backing up your files... Look forward to more of the same... take care..