Lessons Learned From the Election Shocker – Don’t Let Hacks Take You by Surprise

As morning hits around the globe, the world is waking up to find out that Donald Trump has been elected the 45 president of the United States of America.

It’s a shocker to say the least. The proverbial dark horse, coming in from behind, beset with scandals, a less-than-stellar reputation and no political background — who would have ever seen this coming?! All the polls seemed to indicate a clear and easy win for Camp Clinton. All the pundits said she was a shoo-in, with all her political acumen and years of service. But perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising, the handwriting may just have been on the wall for quite some time. With many citizens frustrated by the traditional political elites and their ever expanding distrust, the results might seem almost predictable, when you look at it in hindsight, that is.

Surprise! You’ve been hacked!

When you think about it, a whole lot of things are less surprising when viewed in retrospect. They say that hindsight is 20/20 and there is a good reason for that — There are times that the signs are so clearly there, we just fail to notice them until it’s too late. And sometimes the price we pay for our lack of insight into the events happening around us can be a steep one. Like when you look at your credit card statement, only to come across charges you never made and when you hear from friends that you have been sending out “the strangest emails!”

To curb the element of surprise and help keep you more than one step ahead, we’ll lay out some commonly missed signs that your device, and therefore your security and privacy, may be in big trouble:

You can’t login to your accounts – Hackers may change passwords to buy themselves time and confound victims. You might experience this when try to log in to your email or social media account but it fails repeatedly. “Not enough coffee”, you mutter and try again. But lo, it still doesn’t work, no matter what you do. This is a pretty bad sign, because passwords and logins don’t change themselves.

Mysterious toolbars, pop ups and programs appear – You open up your browser and it seems just a wee bit different than it did yesterday. And hey, look at that! You have a new toolbar! Not to mention those programs or apps you’ve never heard of — Rest assured something fishy is going on. Hackers often get a kickback from rogue companies who get paid each time you click on their ads or pop ups. The emergence of toolbars, pop ups and programs should serve as a clear indicator that something nefarious is happening. Running a powerful malware solution like RCS keeps dangerous software from accessing and affecting your devices.

Your searches are being redirected – That slightly odd browser (what, you don’t remember it’s spelled “khrome” ??) keeps sending you to even more odd shopping sites, no matter what web address you enter. Here too, hackers may get paid by companies to redirect searches to their own, dangerous or plain ‘ol bogus ones.

You’re sending super weird emails – When a computer or device is compromised, hackers will use it to spread spam and malware. So no, you didn’t send out that email with the plea for money, and no, you’re not stranded in Trinidad with no way home.

Your network activity increases/you have a noticeably slow connection – If your connection is slower than molasses, your computer might be part of a computer botnet, whose sole purpose is to deploy DDoS attacks.

Keep a careful eye out for these signs and others like them – more often than not, they are symptomatic of a much larger issue and can’t be ingnored. Regardless of whether or not you fall into camp shocked/furious or shocked/overjoyed, you don’t want to be caught off guard when it comes to your security and privacy — because all the hindsight in the world can’t get your digital identity back.

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