How to prevent hacking of your computer?

Nowadays, we use our computers for all our daily tasks: work, leisure, personal finances, and more. Therefore, our computers contain valuable information that attracts the interest of many criminals who may attempt to steal it by hacking our computer systems.

The best way to avoid falling victim to a computer hack is by installing antivirus software, avoiding downloads from untrusted websites, and not clicking on links in email messages from unknown senders.

By following these three simple steps, you can protect yourself from dreaded hackers. To learn more about implementing these actions and other tricks to prevent hacking, continue reading the rest of the article.


Here are some ways to minimize the risk of experiencing a computer hack:

  1. Use antivirus software: Installing a reliable antivirus, even the free version, provides sufficient protection. For enhanced security, consider subscribing to the paid version. Additionally, keep your antivirus up to date and perform regular automated system scans.
  2. Avoid downloading from unknown websites: Only download files from reputable and recognizable websites. Never download anything from an unknown website without verifying its reputation.
  3. Don’t open links from unknown email senders: Even if an email appears to be from your bank or utility company, double-check the sender’s email address to ensure it matches the official institution. Many phishing emails mimic legitimate senders in an attempt to trick you into clicking on their links and providing personal information such as passwords. Therefore, verify the sender of any email before clicking on any links.
  4. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks: Never connect to public Wi-Fi networks, as they are open and vulnerable to even beginner hackers gaining access to your computer system.
  5. Secure your home Wi-Fi network: Make sure that only authorized individuals have access to your personal home Wi-Fi network. To learn how to prevent unauthorized access and protect your Wi-Fi from being stolen, check out another article on our website.
  6. Cover and disable your camera and microphone: Many screens and laptops have built-in cameras and microphones. Disable them as they can be significant security vulnerabilities. Additionally, cover them to prevent the unauthorized capture of personal images, videos, or audio in the event of a hack.
  7. Use a VPN: While internet connections nowadays have reasonable security, a moderately skilled cybercriminal could still gain access to your data without any filters. By acquiring a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, you can have an encrypted connection and an anonymous identity on the internet. This makes it virtually impossible to decipher your online activities.
  8. Disable geolocation: You can configure your device settings to disable geolocation. It is advisable to do so, as geolocation can be exploited as a gateway by potential hackers.
  9. Update your operating system, browser, and antivirus: To have the latest security updates and protections against newly discovered vulnerabilities, always keep your operating system, browser, and antivirus software up to date.
  10. Set a password for your computer: For added security, establish a login password for your computer.
  11. Don’t save passwords in your browser: Never allow your browser to automatically save all your passwords. Doing so would create a significant vulnerability in the event of a hack.
  12. Use an AntiLogger: An AntiLogger encrypts the keystrokes you type, making it more difficult for a hacker to obtain your passwords. There are many free AntiLogger programs that offer a high level of security in their basic versions.
  13. Implement a backup system: Regularly back up your files. In the event of a Trojan virus encrypting your computer system and demanding a ransom, having a backup ensures your files and data are protected.
  14. Seek professional assistance: If you are a business or a professional with valuable information on your computer, consider hiring the services of an IT professional. They can provide security systems tailored to your needs, minimizing the chances of falling victim to a computer hack.


Risks of computer hacking

  1. Data encryption and ransom demands: One common practice of Trojan viruses is encrypting all the files on a computer. The files become inaccessible, and a message demanding a significant ransom payment in Bitcoin appears on the screen. It is strongly advised not to make the payment since even if you receive the decrypted files, the virus will likely remain and re-encrypt everything again, demanding a higher payment.
  2. Theft of sensitive information: When an intruder gains access to your computer, all your information is at risk, including personal files, compromising photos, video recordings from your computer’s camera, and more. This information can be used to blackmail the victim, demanding money in exchange for not sharing the information with the victim’s contacts.
  3. Password theft: Through a computer hack, all our passwords, no matter how complex, can be exposed, including those for social media platforms, various online accounts, and banking entities. Hackers can use these passwords to access our accounts and perform actions on our behalf.
  4. Loss of the computer: A successful hack can cause irreversible damage to the computer’s system, rendering it completely unusable.


How to determine if your computer has been hacked

  1. Slow computer performance: A clear indicator that something is wrong with your computer is when it suddenly becomes significantly slower than usual.
  2. Unwanted actions: If you notice files disappearing, folders being moved, or programs opening without your input, it is a clear indication that your system may be infected. It is recommended to run a virus scan immediately.
  3. Antivirus alerts: If your antivirus software detects a virus of this nature, it is a strong indication of a possible or imminent computer hack. You may not have experienced any data loss or damage yet if the detection is early, but it is imminent.
  4. Data encryption and ransom demands: The undeniable proof of a computer hack is the encryption of your files and the demand for a ransom payment to regain access to them.


What to do if your computer is hacked

  1. Format your computer: The first step is to format your computer, which involves completely erasing all data from the system and reinstalling the operating system from scratch.
  2. Install antivirus software: Install antivirus software and perform a comprehensive security scan.
  3. Change your bank card: If you have made online purchases with your card, your card details (card number, expiration date, and CVV/CVC security code) may have been compromised in a hack. Therefore, it is advisable to request a new card with a different card number (not a duplicate).
  4. Review bank accounts and social media profiles: Check your bank accounts and social media profiles to ensure that no unauthorized transactions or actions have taken place. If you notice any suspicious activity, seek immediate assistance from the respective institution or platform to address the situation.
  5. Change passwords: Even if no unauthorized activity has occurred in your bank accounts or social media profiles, it is recommended to change your passwords after experiencing a computer hack.