7 Signs Your Computer Has Been Hacked, and 5 Ways to Prevent It

  • You can tell your computer has been hacked if you see frequent pop-up messages, mass emails sent from your account, or unexpected programs appear.
  • If your computer has been hacked, you run the risk of losing data, having your identity stolen, or suffering financial losses. 
  • Here are seven signs that your computer has been hacked and five steps you can take to prevent hacking. 

Computer hacking doesn’t only happen in the movies. Unless you take precautions and make your computer’s security a priority, it’s possible you can get hacked, which can result in lost or stolen data, ID theft, and worse. 

But what does getting hacked actually look like? The signs might be subtle, but they’re often easy to identify. You might find unexpected changes to your computer, sudden slow performance, and an increase in unwanted behavior like pop-up windows. Here are seven of the most important signs you’ve been hacked, as well as tips on how to protect your computer from getting hacked. 

Common signs of a hacked computer

There’s no single set of signals that you’ve been hacked, mainly because there are a lot of different ways you might be attacked. Here are seven ways to tell that you might have been hacked. 

Watch for pop-up messages and antivirus warnings

Pop-up windows warning you about viruses and malware attacks sound helpful in principle, but be sure you’re seeing an authentic message from the antimalware software you actually have installed before responding to or acting on its recommendations. The reality is that many of these messages are evidence that your computer has been hacked — infected with malware that’s masquerading as antivirus software. 

If you see any kind of unexpected warning message, don’t click. Instead, close your web browser and run your computer’s antimalware software to look for the presence of malicious software.

Unauthorized email sent from your account

One common goal of hackers is to infect as many computers as possible. One way to do that is to…