Dear Amy: What happens when your computer gets hacked? — Blair, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
Dear Blair: Did you know that the term “hacker” originally referred to someone who was good at programming and other computer skills? Today, most people use “hacker” to describe a person who illegally breaks into other people’s computers. If a hacker gains access to your computer, he or she could erase your hard drive, damage your computer or even steal your identity. Learn about identity theft and what to do if it happens to you at ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/about-identity-theft.html.
If you think your computer has been hacked, there are clues that can help you figure out if you’ve been victimized. For example, you might see new programs installed on your computer or notice that your password has changed. Visit computerhope.com/issues/ch001296.htm for more information.
To help keep your computer safe, make sure you have antivirus and firewall software installed, and always choose strong passwords. A little prevention goes a long way!
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