Have you Been Hacked? Now What?
If your ISP provider notified you that your computer has become part of a zombie botnet, take them seriously. Your computer has been hacked and it is critical that you take evasive actions to protect your data. A virus or other malware that is installed on your computer can now be used to attack other computers.
To Prevent Permanent Data Loss Follow 8 Steps
1. Remove your computer from the network
Disconnect your internet cable from your router. This prevents a hacker from gaining further access to your computer and causing more damage. After disconnecting your computer, turn off your Wi-Fi connection. On your router there is a Wi-Fi button. By pressing the button you disable the Wi-Fi connection on your router. Otherwise, you can turn your router off.
2. Remove the hard drive from your computer
Power down your computer and remove your hard drive. You will need to work on a second computer to remove the virus or malware from your hard drive. Ensure the computer you are using has antivirus, malware, and rootkit detection software installed on the hard drive. Attach the hard drive to the computer. You can either attach directly to the mother board as a non-bootable device or attach to the USB port using an external caddy.
3. Scan the infected hard drive to remove viruses, malware, and rootkits
Do not open the hard drive, but instead right-click on the hard drive and locate the option to scan the hard drive with antivirus software. Follow this scanning order to remove all viruses and malware from the hard drive.
- Antivirus software – 1st scan
- Malware software – 2nd scan
- Rootkit software – 3rd scan
4. Backup all your data on the hard drive
Backup all your important data from the hard drive. Make sure to copy all your emails, contact lists, and other important settings off your hard drive.
5. Replace the hard drive back in the computer
Once a computer is hacked it is no longer safe to use the drive. Therefore, you will need to securely wipe the hard drive and reload your operating system and other programs.
6. Reload your programs and data
After reloading your new operating system, it is necessary to re-install all your programs. Afterwards, install an antivirus, malware, and rootkit software. This is important before you add your data back to your hard drive.
7. Add your data to your hard drive
Before opening the hard drive and re-installing your data it is import to scan your hard drive again. Follow the scanning procedure to scan for viruses, malware, and rootkit infections. After the hard drive is scanned, you can now re-install your data.
8. Update your operating system and programs
Update your windows operating system and all your programs. Ensure you have the latest virus definitions installed on your antivirus program. Set up Windows to automatically check for new security updates and install the updates on your system.
If your computer has been hacked, it is important to immediately remove it from the network and disconnect your Wi-Fi network. Afterwards, follow these procedures to clean your hard drive of viruses, malware, and rootkit infections. Safeguard your data and re-install your operating system to ensure your data is safe.