Even if you’re careful and conscientious when using a network-connected device, whether that’s a desktop computer, a laptop, or a portable handset, it’s impossible to make it completely invulnerable to hackers.
Because of this reality, the truly conscientious user needs to know what telltale signs of a successful cyber attack they need to look out for so that this can be nipped in the bud.
To that end, here are just a few examples of things that should raise your suspicions and merit further investigation.
Performance Is Unusually Slow
Businesses are particularly vulnerable to data breaches, and the first thing to look out for is sluggish or sporadic device performance in normal usage scenarios.
If your desktop workstation or smartphone suddenly struggles to load apps or respond to your inputs swiftly, this suggests that there’s a background process that is hogging all of its hardware resources.
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It could be a simple case of a piece of software that’s gone haywire and needs to be terminated. But if you can’t see an obvious culprit, then malicious code is probably to blame.
Network Usage Is Inexplicably High
Another calling card of a hacked device is seeing a spike in network usage. This indicates that someone is accessing it externally and interacting with it remotely, perhaps stealing private data or interfering with its operations in another way.
This is easier to notice on mobile devices than on desktops, since data caps are more common here, and you might get an automatic alert if you’re experiencing abnormally high levels of network usage.
Discovering Who Hacked Your Phone
To find out who hacked your mobile phone, your best option is to have security software installed from day one.
That way if a breach occurs, it can be detected and dealt with, as well as traced to the source, by the automated abilities of a modern solution designed to keep you safe from hackers.
Apps You Don’t Recognize Appear In Your Library
Plenty of hacks start with a simple breach and then are exploited to their fullest by malicious third parties until the device is basically unusable.
This tactic can be detected if you notice an app on your device which you didn’t choose to install yourself. It could crop up as a result of clicking a link in an unsolicited email, or by visiting a website that isn’t trusted.
Hackers have all sorts of devious ways to install their own software on your desktop or smartphone, and again your best defense is a security tool that can stop this before it gets a foothold.
Battery Life Isn’t What It Used To Be
This applies to laptops and mobiles, and acts as a backup warning sign for if you haven’t seen any performance dips in general use.
Finding that your battery is being drained at a rate that doesn’t make sense given the usage you’ve put the device through shows that there are background processes at play.
Ambient Audio Stands Out During Calls
Once more we’re focusing on phones here, as a device that has been hacked can emit strange background sounds when you are making a call. This could be distortion, it could be clicks or beeps; basically, anything that doesn’t sit right with your expectations might mean someone is listening in and recording your conversations.
Having a hacked device is quite a dilemma, but if you step in to stop the after-effects of a breach as soon as possible, the damage done will be limited, and you’ll be better prepared for future attempts as well.