Helping you balance your online life

Sep 20th


What is a Computer Hacker?

A computer hacker is someone who develops, changes or attempts to circumvent computer security hardware or software. This can either happen for negative (criminal) or positive reasons. Criminal hackers develop computer malware or spyware to gain access to confidential information.
Beware of Online Hackers How do you know if your computer has been Hacked?
If you believe someone you don't know has accessed information from your computer, check for these signs:
  • Your inbox contains mailing errors or mailer-daemon messages for email you didn't send.
  • People you know are getting emails from you that you didn't send.
  • There are outgoing messages in your Sent, Drafts or Outbox folder that you didn't create or send.
  • Your account folders (Sent, Deleted, Spam, Inbox, etc.) have been emptied or deleted.
  • Your Address Book contacts have been erased.
  • During sign-in or when sending a message, you're asked to pass an image challenge.
  • Emails you try to send are suddenly getting refused and returned to you.
  • There are contacts in your Address Book you didn't add.
  • You keep getting bumped offline when you're signed into your account.
  • Your email signature suddenly has a link you didn't put there.
  • You're not getting new mail.
What do you do if your computer is Hacked?
  • Create a strong password. For the most up-to-date recommendations for making a strong password, Note that passwords should be at least six characters long and include at least one number, letter (combination of upper and lower cases) and special character ($, *, &, !, etc.). Make sure your new password is different from any other passwords you have used. Also, if you use the same password for other online accounts such as social media and financial services, change those passwords as well. It is strongly advised that you use different passwords for different social media accounts.
  • Make sure you have antivirus software installed and updated. Virus scans search for any spyware, viruses or other malware that may have found their way onto your computer. Run scans frequently to make sure your computer is free of all malware.
  • Don't download attachments (e.g., pictures, games, electronic greetings) unless it's from someone you know.