Suspect Your Computer Has Been Hacked? Do These 5 Things Now!

Hacked computer.
Let's Talk

When the suspicion of a compromised computer or network arises, panic often sets in as the initial reaction. Yet, the actions taken immediately after this realization can determine the outcome of the situation, potentially transforming it from a minor inconvenience to a devastating disaster involving legal consequences, hefty fines, and severe disruptions to business operations.

We have collaborated with cybersecurity experts to outline the key indicators of a compromised computer and the essential steps to take upon discovering a breach in your network to mitigate irreversible damage.

Signs Of An Issue

IBM’s recent cybersecurity report reveals a startling statistic: the average data breach goes unnoticed and unreported for a staggering 277 days. Despite the rapid havoc that malware, viruses, and other cyber threats can wreak, many users overlook warning signs until it’s too late. Here are some major indicators that your computer could be infected:

  • Slow computer or network performance
  • Frequent freezes or sudden crashes
  • Incessant pop-ups
  • Locked user accounts
  • Unexpected file changes
  • Unusual system behavior, such as the device operating after shutdown
  • Suspicious account activity


What to Do Next

If any of these signs manifest, the subsequent actions are critical. Here’s what our team of experts advises:

  1. Take the network offline to isolate the incident, but DO NOT turn off the device or reboot it.

Although rebooting a malfunctioning device is a common troubleshooting tactic, it can exacerbate the situation if malware is involved. Rebooting might trigger a file-encryption process, resulting in irreversible data loss. Disconnect the device from the network while keeping it powered on to proceed with the following steps.

  1. Immediately contact your IT team.

Containing the breach promptly is vital to prevent further spread and damage. Your IT team can investigate the issue, assess the impact, and swiftly implement mitigation measures. Avoid attempting to resolve the issue independently, as this could worsen the situation. Seek professional expertise without delay.

  1. Notify your attorney.

Engaging legal counsel is crucial for several reasons. Depending on the breach’s magnitude, your attorney may connect you with specialized legal experts versed in privacy and data security laws. These professionals can guide you through the legal implications and necessary actions.

  1. Change passwords and secure all accounts.

While the IT team addresses the breach, change passwords across all accounts to safeguard unaffected systems. Prioritize accounts containing sensitive financial information and consider enabling multifactor authentication for added security.

  1. Monitor bank accounts.

Given the financial motives behind most cyber-attacks, scrutinize bank accounts and payment platforms for any suspicious activity or unauthorized transactions. This includes third-party merchant accounts and employee payroll systems.

In the aftermath of a cyber-attack, additional steps such as implementing a PR communications plan and notifying relevant parties may be necessary. However, the paramount priority is to promptly isolate the incident and entrust it to qualified cybersecurity professionals. Time is of the essence in such situations.

For businesses seeking dependable cybersecurity monitoring, we offer a FREE Cyber Security Risk Assessment. These assessments thoroughly evaluate network vulnerabilities and devise comprehensive mitigation strategies. Prevention is far more cost-effective than remediation, so schedule your assessment today by clicking here or calling 717-914-0102.

Experiencing similar challenges?

We'll Eliminate Your Technology Hurdles

At IntermixIT, we approach your business challenges from experience. We deploy best practices in delivering all our IT solutions. We’ll drive your IT success.

Don't Settle for Poor Support from Your Managed IT Service Provider​
We’ll Deliver a Customer Experience that Drives IT Success.

Book Your 13-Minute Consultation