How To Determine If Hackers Have Your Password?
Cybersecurity threats are rampant, and every business is vulnerable to an attack. Everything from social media accounts to financial accounts can come under attack at any time. The threats are not equal for every business, but it’s crucial to be on the lookout. Establishing how secure your accounts are can be a complex task. However, several signs will warn you of successful or failed hacking attempts on your accounts.
Your Online Passwords Don’t Work
When hackers get hold of your online passwords, the first thing they will do is to change them to lock you out. If you type in your password correctly, and it doesn’t work, the chances are that you have been hacked. While the site could be experiencing a technical difficulty, a problem that persists for more than 30 minutes is more than a network issue.
When your passwords have been compromised, immediately notify your close contacts about the attack. This will help minimize the damage the hackers are likely to cause. You also should contact the online service providers to notify them of the hacked account. They have methods to help you recover your account and restore legitimate access.
Upon account recovery, ensure you:
- Change the initial password and create a strong and unique one
- Add two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Make use of the additional security levels as provided by the service providers.
You Notice Unusual Behavior
One clear sign that your accounts are under attack is unusual activities. You may receive notifications about attempts to access your account. The alerts could be about failed login attempts or successful sign-in from locations unfamiliar to you.
Another sign to look out for is a sudden screen take-over telling you that your data is encrypted. The senders will demand a payment to unlock your data. Ransomware is currently a massive problem in the cybersecurity world, affecting small and large businesses alike. Unfortunately, paying the ransom doesn’t always give you back complete control of your systems 40% of the time.
The best way to protect yourself against ransomware is to have reliable and tested offline backups. Having an updated anti-malware program will also help to protect your systems.
Another suspicious activity is getting a fake antivirus message. It comes as a pop-up message that says your device or computer is infected. The message purports that the antivirus scanning has found multiple malware infections on your computer. This happens either because your system is already compromised or because you’re about to be attacked. These messages lock up your browser so that you can’t get rid of the message without restarting your browser.
Protect yourself by closing the pop-up message and restarting your browser. If, upon restarting, you get the same message open an incognito window. Browse to a different page to stop the message from appearing.
Redirected Internet Searches
Hackers take control and redirect your browser where you don’t want to go to make a living. They get paid by making your clicks appear on other peoples’ websites. The site owners usually don’t know that the clicks are from maliciously redirected pages.
You can check if you have this type of malware on your computer by typing a few related or common words into the search engines. See whether the same websites appear in the results. In most cases, they will have no relevance to your search terms. Unfortunately, several of today’s redirected online searches are well masked and hidden from the users. Hackers use proxies so that the user is not aware of the redirected results.
Having bogus toolbar programs that you didn’t install is also a sign of being redirected. Be wary of multiple new toolbars that seem to suggest they want to help you. Unless you know the vendor, you need to remove the bogus toolbars. If ever in doubt about anything on your browser, it’s best to uninstall it or restore the browser to its default settings.
As a protective measure, always ensure all your software is fully patched. Be cautious about any free software that installs itself on these toolbars.
Take Control of Your Online Accounts
The best approach to protecting your accounts against hacking is to limit the attack surface. Although some attacks will always happen, working on your online business hygiene is crucial. This will help to reduce the chances of an attack. Consider using a password manager to create strong passwords and avoid repeating them across multiple accounts. Multi-factor authentication should also be something you use on as many sites and services as possible.
Cybersecurity is a multi-faceted concept that calls for the input of IT professionals. Besides securing your accounts, there are other things to be on the lookout for to keep your systems safe. Working with an IT expert takes the hard work off your table and leaves you with enough time to focus on business. Contact us today to book a consultation and discover how we can help your company leverage cybersecurity solutions.