Hijacked Computer: What to Do

Your computer’s been hijacked by malware — how do you get it back?

You can’t turn your computer on or off. It’s acting up, running slow, opening pages you didn’t click, displaying pop-ups constantly. There’s a good chance your computer’s been hacked or infected with a virus and needs your help.

Stop shopping, banking, and entering passwords online until your computer is cleaned and restored. It’s inconvenient to be sure, but it’s a necessary step to prevent the situation going from bad to worse, from hack to horrible.

Update your security software. Install a new version from a reputable company. You can use your phone or another computer to check reviews of security software. Tech blogs and retail sites usually post them.

Choose carefully. Scammers sometimes advertise security software that’s malware in disguise. Make your decision, get back online, and download the software. If the security software finds malware, it flags it for you. Delete the suspicious files and restart your computer. If you’re still having problems, contact your computer manufacturer or other tech support and find out what else you can do.

Once your computer is back to normal, change the password you’ve been using for your bank accounts, your email accounts, and all your other important accounts. The safest route is to choose and use passwords that have upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols.

And finally, make sure your operating system and internet browser are set to update automatically. You want to keep your computer operating at peak performance.


Want to know more? Visit onguardonline.gov
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