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

When you discover your computer or network might be compromised, the initial instinct might be to panic. Yet, how you respond can turn a potential breach from a minor inconvenience into a devastating disaster that could lead to significant legal and financial repercussions.

Today, we delve into the expertise of our cybersecurity professionals to identify the signs of a compromised system and outline the essential steps you must take immediately to limit any lasting damage.

Indicators of a Compromised System

According to the latest cybersecurity insights from IBM, it takes an average of 277 days for a data breach to be detected and reported. Considering that malware, viruses, and keylogging tools can wreak havoc quickly, this delay is alarming. Often, the signs are overlooked, and users don't realize they're under attack until significant damage has been done.

Key signs that your system may be compromised include:

  • Degraded performance of computers or networks
  • Frequent system freezes or crashes
  • Unexpected pop-up ads
  • Locked user accounts
  • Unanticipated changes in file configurations
  • Devices operating irregularly, such as running post-shutdown
  • Strange activity on user accounts

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Critical Actions to Take Immediately

Recognizing any of these signs is a cue for immediate action, which can greatly influence the breach's impact. Here are the steps recommended by our cybersecurity experts:

  1. Disconnect from the Network but Do Not Power Down

    Avoid shutting down or rebooting the system as this may activate malicious processes leading to data loss. Disconnect from the network but keep the device running.

  2. Alert Your IT Department Immediately

    Speed is essential. Contact your IT department to assess and control the breach to prevent further issues. Do not attempt to fix the issue yourself, as this could lead to more significant problems.

  3. Consult with Your Legal Team

    For breaches of a considerable size, your attorney can direct you to specialized legal counsel familiar with privacy and data security, helping you navigate the required legal processes.

  4. Update Passwords and Secure Accounts

    Immediately update passwords, particularly for accounts associated with sensitive or financial information. Implement multifactor authentication to bolster security if it's not already active.

  5. Monitor Your Financial Transactions

    Cyber-attacks often target financial resources, so keep a vigilant eye on your banking and payment processing activities for any anomalies.

Having a plan in place for responding to data breaches is crucial. This includes strategies for public relations, notifying law enforcement, and other essential actions.

For companies seeking comprehensive cybersecurity protection, we recommend starting with a FREE Cyber Security Risk Assessment. This detailed evaluation helps pinpoint vulnerabilities in your network and develops a strategic plan to fortify your cybersecurity measures. 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 707-689-3999.


nDataStor has been a part of the Solano County community for over a decade. 

We know the Solano, Sacramento, and Santa Clara areas like the back of our hand. From the hills and grape vineyards of Napa to Silicon Valley and the burgers at the Squeeze Inn, this is our home. We're here with a higher calling: to serve our neighbors and friends.