Have you ever been hacked? Would you even know if you've been hacked? In 2014, about 110 million Americans fell victim to hackers. This includes those whose personal information was exposed to hackers via company and website breaches, most notably Target, Anthem, Home Depot, and JP Chase Morgan.
What does the term “hacked” actually mean? If you’ve been hacked, that means someone has gained unauthorized access to your computer. Hackers will try to gain access to computers in order to steal usernames, passwords, personal information, bank information, etc. Hackers can also gain unauthorized access to your website which allows them to install viruses, redirect to other websites, and flat out bring your website down.
How to know if you’ve been hacked. Here is a list of the most common signs that indicate you’ve been hacked:
- You receive an account change notice (such as an address or username change) that you did not initiate.
- Friends have received emails from you that you didn’t send. Usually these emails prompt the reader to click a link.
- On your computer there are new programs or browser add-on programs that you did not install.
- A merchant contacts you about an order you never placed or the bank contacts you about suspicious activity.
What to do if you’ve been hacked. If you have fallen victim to a hacker, take swift action to secure your accounts and information. Change your passwords and contact your bank if your financial information has been compromised. Run an antivirus program on your computer immediately in order to identify and remove any malicious programs that may have been downloaded by the hackers.