What to do if you think your computer is not secure
There are many strategies that you can put into place to keep your computer and your personal details safe. However, there may be times when you think the security of your computer has been compromised. The following section looks at what you can do if this happens to you.
If you think you have malware on your computer
If you suspect that your computer is infected with malware (for example its behaviour becomes erratic, the hard disc or internet connection always seems busy when you are doing nothing or it starts to run very slowly), there are a number of things you can do. Firstly, you can scan your computer with anti-virus software. This should be able to detect any malware which has installed itself on your computer. If detected, it should also provide you an option to remove this. However, some malware can be very tricky to remove and you may be unsure of the damage done to your computer. In these cases, it may be beneficial to take your computer to a local IT professional.
If you think your personal details have been compromised
If you think that your personal information has been accessed from your computer, there are a few things you should do straight away. The type of information you think is compromised will determine what you need to do. If the information is about bank accounts, then you should contact your bank immediately. Tell them what has happened and they will be able to change your passwords and close the accounts if necessary. They will also be able to reissue new credit cards to you, if necessary. In addition, banks can put a note on your account in case there is any suspicious activity in the future. If there has been unauthorised activity on your account, you can then talk to the bank to resolve the matter.
If the information is about another type of account (such as telephone or internet or a payment service) then you should contact the provider immediately. As with the bank, tell them what has happened and they can help you change passwords and close accounts if necessary. They can also put a note on your account for future reference. If there has been unauthorised activity on your account, as with the bank, you can talk to the company to resolve the issue. If it is about passwords to any of your accounts, you should change these as soon as possible. If you think your personal information has been accessed by someone you have not authorised, it is important that you take action as soon as possible. While nothing may come of it, you are still safer to check and pick up any problems early. It will be easier to resolve any issues with the bank or other organisation sooner rather than later.
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