Online Sense is ICDL Arabia's philanthropic arm aimed at raising public awareness on Cyber Safety.

Cyber attacks have recently become a very popular problem, so everyone is worried about protecting their data. To prevent your passwords and other important data from being stolen, you have to pay attention to any changes in your computer.

Your printer doesn’t work properly or your webcam behaves unusually, and you don’t know what it means? We are going to tell you about seven important signs that your computer has been hacked and your data and pictures have been stolen.

1. The antivirus is switched off

Antivirus programs are pretty hard to disable, even when you want to. They have special safety protocols that ask you multiple times if you are sure that you don’t want the programme to work. So its almost impossible that you turn it off accidentally.

The first thing that good hackers do is disable the anti-virus so that you can’t detect the intrusion.

As soon as you notice that your antivirus is off, turn it back on and contact a specialist immediately.

2. You receive fake antivirus warnings

If you see antivirus warnings that look different or unusual, it is a clear sign of a hack.

Another bad sign is to see an antivirus you had not installed. However, before you start to worry check if your old antivirus software was updated. Maybe it just looks different now.

3. Your passwords don’t work

If you cannot access some of your accounts and you are sure you didn’t change your password, it’s most likely that your computer has been hacked. Fortunately, most services have a two-factor authentication so that you can restore your password by having a code sent to your phone or inbox. Once you have done it change passwords of accounts that apparently haven’t been hacked yet.

Tell all your friends not to open messages from you, or not to click on links sent through your account

4. Your number of friends has grown

If you see some people that you don’t know on your social networking pages, or the number of your friends on social media accounts has increased, it’s a clear sign that your computer or social account has been hacked.

Check the chats with your friends for spam messages

5. New icons appear on your dashboard

If you launch your browser and see new icons on your dashboard, this might be an infiltration of some dangerous code on to your computer.

Don’t run unknown applications of you don’t want to make the hacker’s job easier. Try to delete them from your computer if you can

6. The cursor moves on its own

If you notice that your cursor is moving without your control, and is highlighting something, it means your computer has definitely been hacked. Someone is probably doing something at this very moment.

What you should do is disable the internet connection as soon as possible, and contact specialist to deal with the situation

7. Your printer doesn’t work properly

You might be surprised but cyberattacks influence not only the computer itself but also your peripheral devices. For example, if your printer refuses to print something out, it might a worrying signal.

The same applies to all the other devises connected to your computer.

There are even more signs of your computer being hacked. Watch this video to know more.