Family computers are at a higher risk of malware and virus attacks since every family member uses the device to access their preferred content, including emails, websites, and downloaded files. For instance, a child accessing the wrong website may trigger a ransomware attack, leading to the encryption of the computer until you pay money to the hacker.

Such errors could also lead to spying, identity theft, financial losses, blackmail, extortion, and other risks. So how do you know that your computer has been hacked?

Signs that Your Computer Has Been Attacked

There are plenty of signs that can help you know your computer has a virus. They include:

Frequent freezing and crashing. While using your computer, you may realize that the cursor is not moving and the screen is not functioning, which is a clear sign that your computer is infected with a virus.
Modified or deleted files. Another sign of a malware attack is if you store your files and find them deleted or altered without your knowledge.
Computer programs running and closing without your consent.
Changes in your computer's security system.
The computer may start sending strange emails to a larger audience without your permission.
Changes in your search engine without your consent.

There are four stages to a computer virus:

1. Dormancy: This is the stage where the virus remains asleep for a while to avoid detection.
2. Replication: This is the phase where a virus begins reproducing itself.
3. Triggering event: This is a tangible or an intangible occurrence that gives the virus a sign to act.
4. Execution stage: This involves the virus implementing its mission.

It's usually hard to detect a computer virus in its earliest stage, making it difficult to control it. To avoid all these hurdles, you can install antivirus software which is quite effective in fighting viruses and malware targeting home computers.

Can Installing an Antivirus Software Save Your Computer?

Computer owners often wonder if installing an antivirus is effective when dealing with malware and virus attacks. The answer is that all computers need an antivirus at some point. For instance, computers such as Mac have inbuilt protection, but you need to install third-party antivirus software to ensure complete protection against unwanted programs.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Antivirus

The cost: You need to look for an antivirus that fits your budget and serves all your needs.
Operation: It is crucial to install an antivirus that is user-friendly for all family members.
Effectivity: Softwares need to be customizable to serve your needs more effectively.
Available services: Before purchasing your software, you must check whether the software company can fix bugs. Besides, you need to know if you can easily reach their support services if the software crashes.

Can an Antivirus Be Hacked and How Dangerous is it?

Installing software does not necessarily guarantee you complete protection against virus attacks because they are also vulnerable to attacks. According to a cybersecurity agent based in the U.S, there are new and easy ways hackers can exploit different kinds of software which is quite dangerous because may result in information leakage to third parties.

The hacker can track all the user's activities while on the internet and may use that information against them, which is riskier, especially for organizations that digitally store their client's data.

Is it Possible to Spy Through the Computer Camera?

Besides getting your data directly from your computer, hackers can spy through the computer's camera. In most cases, they use webcams to spy on unsuspecting users. Fortunately, it's possible to know when someone is spying on you through your computer's camera. Here are some signs to show you are being watched:

Your camera is moving without your command: Cameras can move through different angles, but if you get an unusual movement, it could indicate someone is controlling your webcam.
Strange footage files: Getting plenty of peculiar footage saved among your existing storage files is a red light that a hacker is onto you.
Misbehaving of the computer's webcam indicator light: The computer's webcam blinking abnormally or switching on without your command clearly indicates that a third party is accessing your files.

It's important to check your background apps regularly because malware can get into your laptop when downloading software from unsecured websites, making your webcam prone to hackers.

If you detect any of the signs listed above, it will be best to contact cybersecurity personnel to guide you on how best you can protect your files. They will also recommend safer software to prevent future attacks.

Which Software is the Safest

The safest antivirus must have at least the following features;

1. Real-time scanning: Not every software will run an automatic screening; some require manual scanning. Therefore, ensure you acquire an antivirus that can automatically detect malware.
2. Automatic Updates: Manual installation of antivirus updates might see you miss important updates.
3. Protect multiple apps: An antivirus capable of protecting all your computer apps can prevent malware from sneaking into your pc through different sources.
4. Auto clean: An auto-clean feature can help an antivirus to detect and delete malicious software instead of waiting for you to clean it manually.

Bottom Line

Computer viruses cause a lot of damage and may result in unnecessary expenses. Therefore, it's essential to look for reliable software since there are many types of antiviruses, and not all of them are trustworthy regardless of their cost. Fortunately, you can acquire antivirus software for free to protect your family computer from malicious attacks.