One of the scariest things any computer owner can see is their PC automatically opening several windows, browser tabs, and the mouse pointer swerving across the screen and trying to access sensitive information like Paypal or banking information.
This was the reality for several people who uses TeamViewer and was unlucky enough to be one of the several affected from the widespread hacking of TeamViewer accounts.
While the hacking event happened last year, this doesn’t mean to say that it cannot happen again.
When an attacker has direct control over your PC he/she can do damage in umpteen, dangerous ways.
TeamViewer might look like the main culprit here but removing it is not viable or logical. A single person’s account can also be hacked and other alternatives are also not one hundred percent attack-proof. Moreover, TeamViewer is a necessity to many to provide remote tech support to their family without dealing with ports & IP addresses. So we will look at some of the general precautions you can take to shield yourself from the such attacks.
Putting up a Master Password
You are not alone if you have the habit of storing passwords in your browsers. It is one of those bad habits that we all develop because we choose convenience over safety. If you are not careful, however, you can be the recipient of a particularly damaging hacking attack since all the hacker needs to do is to go the page they want and if you’re automatically logged in or your password is saved, they’ll have full access to it.
One thing you can do is to make use of a password manager (although it’s important to not overly rely on it as they are not immune to attacks). If that doesn’t work for you, you can set up a master password.
Chrome uses your Windows login password as master password, as default. For Firefox go to Settings > Security tab > Set Master Password.
Set up a Secure Folder
This might sound non sequitur with the topic, but someone who has access to your computer can also go through your private stuff, copy it and distribute it. Setting up a password locked & encrypted folder, where you put all your sensitive files is a great way to thwart the intruder’s any such intentions.
Always Scan for Malware
If you suspect something fishy has happened to your PC in your absence, a system wide anti-virus scan should be carried out. An intruder, if failed in finding anything useful, may install a keylogger, or worse: ransomware.
Ransomware is a sort of attack wherein the hacker will hold all your accounts and will demand monetary compensation for their return.
Even if Windows Defenders tells you that your system is clean, it’s always best to do a secondary scan with a separate anti-virus program. Never think that a single scan is enough to vouch for the safety of your precious information.
Check Crucial Windows Settings
After scanning for malware & virus, next on the list should be important Windows settings. Check for any new Firewall rules, check for any unwanted apps by going to Control Panel > Uninstall a Program. If you want to achieve paranoid level checks, Regshot, for auditing registry & Windows built in file auditor are also there at your disposal.
Many of the users found out about unauthorized access through browser history, so it should be also checked as it can give vital clues as to what the intruder was trying to accomplish. Apart from this, any extensions and apps you don’t recognize should be removed.
Also, be sure to scrutinize any and all credit card statements so you can detect and report any suspicious purchases.