Hackers are not funny, they are not heroes, they are not your friend. They are criminals - period!
How to tell if your computer has been compromised?
What are the signs that the privacy and security of your computer(s) have been compromised and in a
seriously bad way?
- Your email all of the sudden if filling up with spam.
- You are getting email of a threatening manner from people you don't know or would want to know existed.
- Your social network pages start spewing filth and spam.
- Pop ups start appearing all over the place even though the browser is not running.
- You are having unexplained charges on your credit card(s) or withdrawals from your bank account(s).
From a land line phone (Do not use a cell phone that you own or any of your own computers) contact your bank and credit card companies:
- Before your bank and credit is depleted notify your bank and credit card company of the possibility that your ID has been stolen.
- Stop any/all purchasing from the internet (This is important, we had charges for a month after the account was disabled).
- Have your debit and credit card numbers changed.
- Change all the passwords on
all your accounts.
Remember your personal ID has been compromised and that would affect any data that was stored on your computer including your phone numbers and if you receive electronic billing your cell phone account, banking accounts, credit card accounts, sheeesh all most everything!
Next take all your computers off the internet,
- Shut down your ISP cable/DSL modem - disconnect the power cord, if you are using wireless only disable the wireless until you can reconfigure it.
- Run a all the Anti virus/trojan/malware programs you have installed. I would also suggest you get a anti Key Logger program and run that on your computer(s) also. (To do this if you don't have one you will have to use someone else's computer or a computer at work).
- If you don't find any viruses/trojans/malware or keyloggers I would consider formatting and reinstalling the Operating Systems on all computers. (If the scans come up clean even in Safe Mode or with a separate bootable device then the
thief has an unknown virus/access).
Once you have completed your clean up again from a land line call your ISP and ask for a change of IP address on your cable/DSL modem. It may be as simple as leaving the power disconnected for five minutes or they may have to force the change from their central office.
Troubleshoot, repair, maintain, upgrade & secure...
Next (with out connecting to the internet) change the name and the password on your wireless router/wireless access point. By changing the name and password of the wireless router/wireless access point, if it was the point of access the hacker used, this will stop them from a repeat attack. (Now
use complexity on the name and the password. Never make it easy for a hacker to get to your data!). You will have to reconfigure the Wireless NIC's in all the computers also with the new name and password to connect to the wireless router/wireless access point.
Once you have a new IP for the cable/DSL modem and have changed the name and password on your wireless router/ access point connect to the wireless router/ access point to the cable/DSL modem and see if you have access to the internet.
As for the social networking the only thing I can tell you is to either contact the web site owner (i.e.: Facebook, MySpace, etc ...) and tell them your ID was
stolen. From there they will tell you what to do. Or delete that account and start over, ya, it can be a pain but do you want all that junk pointing at you and your ID?
You may want to look at this page before you are invaded:
in the Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition:
- Cleaning a Computer
Backup and Restore Your Operating System
- Keep the Hackers Out!
Last bit of advice (this isn't in my books - yet) keep your electronic
financial data separate from your computer on an external drive or Pen Drive when not in use, if you are
invaded at least they will not get that data! (My Misses doesn't like using the Pen Drive but understands why I insist on doing it that way.)
Note: All this advice comes at a very high price on my part, I was hacked in 1994, I had my ID stolen in 2000. So once bitten - twice shy, learn what they know and how they do it
then take the measures to defeat them!