With the prevalence of several threats to our Internet of Things (IoT) around the world today, antivirus software can provide very little online security in certain situations. Also, anti-malware scanners are not accurate enough to protect our IoT, because hackers and malware are changing their tactics on a consistent basis to deceive the antivirus and anti-malware software.
Our IoT is constantly being hacked by Internet criminals who have different objectives in mind- from stealing account details to getting inside knowledge of your emails and social media platforms; they can sabotage you in multiple ways. Most people do not have any idea that their IoT device has been hacked until it is very late, because these criminals get inside their device’s firewall security architecture in subtle ways. Therefore, you have to be able to recognise the signs that suggest you have been hacked as soon as possible when you are using any of your IoTs. This article will outline 5 easy means of determining if you have been hacked so that you can take a swift action to prevent further damage.
- You Receive Fake Antivirus Notifications
Even though it is not very popular these days, one of the most significant signs that you have been hacked is the appearance of fake antivirus notifications. The reality is that by the time you receive any fake antivirus messages on your IoT, the criminals have already caused significant damage to your computer, smartphone, security camera, etc. Even if you click on “No” or “Cancel” in a bid to stop the process of the fake virus attempting to scan your system, there is nothing you can do. This is because the criminals utilise unpatched software to gain unrestricted access to your IoTs. The Internet criminals use this fake virus warning because they always come up with a number of “viruses” (which are fake of course) and tell you to buy their product so as to take care of them. When you click on the link, you will be redirected to a harmless-looking website, with several positive reviews. To buy the “antivirus”, you will be required to enter your credit card number and billing information. Once you make the mistake of providing your account information, these criminals gain access to your system as well as personal financial information.
- Check if There is Anything Unusual with Your IoT
Since you have an excellent knowledge of how your different IoT devices work, you should be wary if suddenly they start showing unusual behaviour that you have never experienced before. While there might be several reasons for this, including age and other issues that may be needed to get fixed, it may also be a very clear sign that your IoT has been hacked by an Internet criminal who has probably overridden your cyber security programmes. However, there are some more obvious signs that an Internet criminal has gained access to your device; some of these pointers are:
- You will notice that some files and programs are not working
- Some files and even programs have been deleted from the system
- Your usual password cannot give you access to your device
- Some programs that you did not install begin to appear on your device
- The device attempts to gain access to the Internet on its own
- Contents of several files in your device have been altered
- Your printer might start to misbehave too when you try to use it
- Go Online and Check Sites You Have Access To
Another sure sign that your IoT has been hacked is to go online and see whether or not you can gain access to those sites that you are registered on. You will find that some of the sites will refuse to grant you access because your password has been changed and the password you used is no longer valid. Try all the sites you have access to and if your password is rejected on all of them, then that is a clear sign that Internet criminals have hacked your device’s Internet security services. This usually happens if you had responded to an email requesting that you change or update your password details.Furthermore, when you try to search anything on the Internet, you will be redirected to awkward sites, along with the appearance of extra browsing tabs. These tabs may just close without warning or exhibit other funny actions that you have not authorised. In some cases, people have noticed that they cannot use their domains even after they have finished the payment.
- Your Friends and Business Associates Start Receiving Emails from Your Email and Social Media AccountsWhile there are certain malware programs that can send malicious emails to your friends and associates, do not just assume that it is a malware program that is sending unsolicited and malicious emails to your friends if you are experiencing this. You should be worried if the malicious emails are sent to just a few of your friends and business associates on your email list. If only some of your friends on social media are being contacted, it is a clear sign that your IoTs have been hacked by an Internet criminal. The hackers obtain the email addresses of your friends from social media platforms, and may not have your complete email contact list, which is why only some of them receive the emails. Also, there are bright chances that they may be interested in only a few associates. Furthermore, ask your friends to check if the emails have your email address as the sender, and if this is not the case, it is very likely that your device has been compromised.
- You Simply Do Not Have Control Over Your Device
If your IoTs have been hacked, you will notice that even though you have the device with you, you are not in control of the device at all. You will find that your mouse moves around when you are not controlling it and your screen becomes active “on its own”. This is because your device is being controlled by another human being. They are manipulating your system without your consent.