a man sitting at a desk with a computer and a monitor

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

When you suspect a compromise of your computer or network, the initial reaction may be to panic. However, your actions following the discovery of a potential breach are crucial in determining whether it becomes a manageable issue or a severe crisis that could result in significant financial and legal consequences.

In this article, we tap into the expertise of our cybersecurity experts to highlight common signs of a compromised system and the urgent steps you should take to mitigate as much damage as possible.

Recognizing a Compromised System

According to a recent IBM cybersecurity report, it typically takes 277 days to detect and report a data breach. This timeframe is particularly concerning given the speed at which malware, viruses, and keyloggers can cause damage. Unfortunately, many users do not notice the signs of an attack until it's too late and significant damage has occurred.

Look out for these indicators that your system may be compromised:

  • Decreased performance of your computer or network
  • Regular freezes or unexpected crashes
  • Unwanted pop-up advertisements
  • Accounts being locked out
  • Unplanned changes to your files
  • The computer continuing to operate after attempting to shut it down
  • Odd activities on your accounts

Fill Out The Form Below To Request a Free Consultation


Immediate Steps to Take

If you observe any of the above symptoms, the following actions are critical and can greatly influence the outcome of the breach:

  1. Disconnect from the Network but Keep the Power On

    Avoid shutting down or restarting the system, as this might trigger malicious software that could result in irreversible data loss. Instead, disconnect the device from the network but keep it powered on.

  2. Immediately Contact Your IT Team

    Prompt action is vital. Reach out to your IT department to quickly assess and contain the breach, preventing further damage. Attempting to resolve the issue yourself could worsen the situation.

  3. Get in Touch with Your Legal Advisor

    If the breach is extensive, consult your attorney, who may recommend specialized legal counsel skilled in data security and privacy laws to help manage the situation legally.

  4. Change Passwords and Secure All Accounts

    Begin by updating passwords, especially for accounts linked to sensitive or financial data. If not already in use, activate multifactor authentication to enhance security.

  5. Review Your Financial Accounts

    Since many cyber-attacks aim at financial gain, monitor your bank and other payment accounts closely for any suspicious activity.

Preparation for data breaches should include a comprehensive response strategy, encompassing PR management, notifying law enforcement, and other crucial steps.

For businesses looking for robust cybersecurity solutions, consider starting with a FREE Cyber Security Risk Assessment. This assessment thoroughly examines your network for vulnerabilities, providing a strategic approach to strengthen your cybersecurity defenses. It is much more cost-effective to prevent a cyber-attack than to fix one, so book your assessment today by clicking here or calling 800-626-3223.