7 Tell-Tell Signs Your Laptop Was Hacked (+ What to Do)

This tutorial will tell you the signs your laptop was hacked and solutions to prevent your system hacking in the future.

There are around 40% of new ransomware variants specifically designed to steal your data.

In fact, more than 100 million users in the US alone had their data compromised by digital breaches and similar events in 2022.

Modern cybercriminals know that data is one of the most valuable things to possess. And to steal it, they have to gain access to one of your devices, for instance–your computer.

In this article, we’ll share seven signs that your laptop has been infected by a malicious virus and give tips on how to protect your sensitive information.

7 Clear Signs Your Laptop was Hacked

1. Changed Passwords


Has your password to your email or laptop itself been changed? And you’re sure it wasn’t you who did it? Then, you may have been hacked by a cybercriminal.

One of the first things that cybercriminals do when they breach an account is lock out the rightful owner.

Because most platforms like Google don’t ask for ID to open an account, recovering from this can be extremely difficult. So, this is a major sign that an unauthorized person has access to your laptop.

2. Ransomware Messages

Randsome Message

Sometimes, cybercriminals will tell you they’re hacked your laptop. The problem is that it may also come in the form of a ransom note that renders your device useless until the malicious software is removed.

The silver lining in these cases is that you’ll know that your laptop has been infected right away.

3. Unwanted Toolbars

It’s necessary to grant permission before installing toolbars on your browsers and on your device desktop.

If you start seeing toolbars you didn’t proactively install or at least approve, it may be a sign that your computer is infected by a hacker’s virus.

4. Redirected Internet Searches

Likewise, if you keep getting redirected to unwanted websites or apps while you surf the web, it may mean that your device is being affected by malware.

This is usually an effort to extract even more information. So, make sure to exit these sites and avoid interacting with them, even if they seem attractive.

5. Random, Frequent Pop-Ups

Pop-ups are among the most annoying parts of consuming online content. The good news is that responsible brands make an effort to avoid disruptive pop-ups.

The bad news is that hackers are neither responsible nor interested in the well-being of their victims.

So, if you keep seeing pop-ups that randomly disrupt your experience, there may be a hacker pulling the strings.

6. Unrecognized Software

Similarly to toolbars, hackers will sometimes install entire programs onto your laptop once they have access to it.

This should be a major source of concern as the installation of software requires the highest level of administrative privilege.

7. Social Media Messages and Requests You Didn’t Send

Have your social contacts messaged you about a link they claim you sent, but never actually did?

If the answer is yes, then a hacker may have access to your social profile, or even worse, your entire laptop.

Make sure to message all of your contacts if you confirm that someone has hacked your laptop and:

  • Inform friends and family about the hack;
  • Review your message history with each person;
  • Change your password;
  • Report the incident to the network,
  • And, take steps to prevent another hack.

Keep in mind that the same thing may occur through instant messaging apps as well.

Tips to Protect Your Device from Future Attacks

If you use your laptop for work, to coordinate social events, and to partake in your favorite hobbies, you’re not alone.

But, if this is indeed your case, you need to take action and implement best practices that help protect your data.

Here are three basic tips you can follow to lower your chances of being hacked.

1. Connect to the Internet Using a VPN


You may wonder, what is VPN?

A virtual private network or VPN is a platform that encrypts your internet connection and masks your IP address. It’s a privacy tool designed to protect user data and promote a safer internet.

2. Setup a Strong Password

In many cases, hackers use social engineering to extract passwords. If you use dates or events that are known to be important to you as your password, you may be playing right into these criminals’ hands.

3. Monitor Data Breaches

Data breaches compromise hundreds of millions of passwords every year. Thus, you should keep a close eye on this type of news and ensure that your data is not compromised in this type of attack.


Having your laptop hacked can cost you money and time. If you notice something weird and find that your laptop is displaying one of the behaviors listed above, take the time to ensure all malware is removed.

Additionally, you should implement steps into your internet browsing routine that create a safe environment at all times.

I hope this tutorial helped you to know about the 7 Tell-Tell signs Your Laptop was hacked. If you want to say anything, let us know through the comment sections. If you like this article, please share it and follow WhatVwant on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for more Technical tips.

7 Tell-Tell signs your Laptop was hacked – FAQs

How do I know if my laptop is hacked?

If your computer is hacked, you might notice some of the following symptoms: Frequent pop-up windows, especially the ones that encourage you to visit unusual sites or download antivirus or other software.

What are the 2 possible signs that you have been hacked?

Some of the warning signs that you’ve been hacked include: You receive emails or text messages about login attempts, password resets, or Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) codes that you didn’t request.

Can hackers access my laptop when it is off?

However, you would be glad to know that the general answer to this question is “no”. If your computer is turned off, it cannot be booted and hacked even if you leave it connected to the power source and the Internet.

Can antivirus remove hackers?

Yes, antivirus software is a crucial part of protecting our digital security and, ultimately, defending ourselves against hackers.

Is it hard to track a hacker?

Determining the identity or location of a cyber attacker is incredibly difficult because there is no physical evidence to collect or observe. Sophisticated hackers can cover their digital tracks. Although there are many different attribute techniques, the best approach takes advantage of more than one.

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