How to Fix a Hijacked Computer
If you even suspect your computer is hijacked, it is crucial to take immediate steps to fix it. Computer hijackers can steal your personal information. They can watch your every move online and off. Hackers and hijackers can even use your computer and Internet connection to propagate more harmful and malicious acts. Acting promptly gives you the best opportunity to undo damage caused by a computer hacker. It can also prevent further harm to your system as well as others.
Things You'll Need
- Antivirus software
- Anti-spyware program
Update the computer's antivirus program and anti-spyware program. If the computer does not have a anti-spyware or antivirus program, download one immediately.
Disconnect the computer's Internet connection as soon as the updates or downloads are complete. Do so by unplugging the modem. This will prevent the hijacker from connecting with or sending from the computer while it is being fixed.
Scan the system with the antivirus and spyware removal programs. Do not perform any other tasks while the scans are running. Allow the programs to remove any potentially dangerous items.
Shut down the computer when the scans are complete. Turn it back on and scan again to ensure the objects have been successfully removed.
Turn on (or install) a firewall program and make sure the antivirus and anti-spyware programs are active. Reconnect the modem. Scan the computer a final time using a web-based scanner.
Tips & Warnings
- If you are concerned that your Internet passwords have been compromised, log on to the Internet from a different computer and change all of your passwords before doing anything else. This is especially important if you bank online or use credit cards online.You may also want to contact your bank or credit card companies and ask that they alert you to suspicious activity immediately.