With more than half of malware attacks now targeting small businesses, every employee in your organization, regardless of title or seniority, needs to play a role in protecting your digital turf. While education is an important first step when it comes to thwarting cyberattacks, not even your most protective, cyber-savvy employees are unassailable.
Modern hacking efforts are crafty and well-disguised. Malware is delivered in everything from email attachments and browser toolbars; to pop-up ads and free software. In other words, there’s only so much “defense” you can play.
As important as knowing how cybercriminals attack is knowing when they have attacked. The sooner your employees recognize that a potential breach has occurred, the sooner your IT staff or cybersecurity partner can triage the threat and intervene.
Keep your employees on their toes by educating them on these 8 “OMG, I’ve been hacked” warning signs.
- Your device is suddenly slower: Speedy devices that are suddenly acting slowly and sluggishly can often blame their behavior on malicious software running in the background that’s consuming all of their processing power. Open up your device’s task manager — if there’s an application you don’t recognize eating an inordinate amount of memory, it could be a virus.
- Your cursor has gone rogue: While random mouse movements can often be attributed to faulty hardware, they may also indicate that your device has been hacked and is now being controlled by someone else. The key is to pay attention to the mouse movement. If the cursor drifts to a “clickable” area, such as a web browser, you’ve almost certainly been hacked.
- Your trusted websites are suddenly littered with pop-ups: Arguably the most annoying of all the malware hacks, random pop-ups from websites that don’t typically produce them should arouse your suspicion — especially if they’re bypassing your pop-up blocker. Be especially wary of messages that claim you’ve won something, or attempt to scare you into thinking you’ve been hacked. Needless to say, ignore all suspicious pop-up messages.
- Your password isn’t working: If your password isn’t working — and you’re certain you’re entering it correctly — a hacker may have accessed your device or account and changed the password to keep you out. This is one of the most dangerous cyberattacks because the hacker can now not only steal your credit card numbers and other sensitive data, but also exploit your business contacts by pretending to be you. If your password is stolen, inform your company immediately. Then, change ALL of your passwords across all of your other accounts and devices, even if the password is different than the one that was breached.
- Your internet searches are being redirected: If your internet searches are being rerouted from your intended website to a sketchy URL, that’s a pretty clear sign you’ve been hacked. Why would a cybercriminal want to direct you to a specific website? In most cases, to generate revenue from third-party search engines such as Google. For hackers, hijacking your browser can be a quick way to earn a payday.
- Your device suddenly restarts: Although automatic restarts are common when installing new software and authorizing routine system updates, random restarts that occur without warning should raise suspicion. It’s possible that malware was just installed on your device, and the restart was triggered to complete the process. While it’s more likely that your malware-laced device will slow down versus flat-out restarting, this possible outcome should be on your radar.
- You notice random browser toolbars and add-ons: Toolbars and add-ons offer a number of benefits, shortcuts and other efficiencies, but they’re also popular ways for hackers to discreetly embed malware. Periodically open your web browser and check your toolbar and add-ons. If you see something you don’t remember installing, err on the side of caution and remove it.
- Your antivirus is disabled: If your antivirus scanner abruptly stops working, malware is likely the culprit. When malware penetrates your system, one of the first things it does is disable your device’s antivirus software and block your access to antivirus update servers. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your antivirus software is working.
If your small or mid-sized business is overwhelmed by the relentless threat of cyberattacks, our cybersecurity experts are here to help. Unfortunately, hackers will never stop trying to breach your system. Their tactics will continue to evolve and their breaches will become harder and harder to detect. You need an experienced cybersecurity expert in your corner to defend your business from these potentially catastrophic attacks.
Contact BrevAll Technologies today and let us prove that we’re the answer to your cybersecurity needs.