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There is a new hack or scam around every corner. The sad thing is, you probably won’t realize that someone has crept into your digital life until it’s too late.
If a virus is to blame, there are red flags. Tap or click to spot eight signs that your computer has been hackedstarting with a great tribute: it’s hot.
Sometimes the culprit is closer to home. Worried that someone is spying on your computer? Here are the clues.
Then there are your online accounts. I’ll walk you through how to check for devices and people using them that shouldn’t be there.
See what’s linked to your Google account
Think of everything your Google account can open the door to: your emails, your contacts, your location history, your searches, your photos … it’s just a scratch on the surface.
Be proactive and check the Google devices page before you notice any warning signs.
- go to google.com/devices. You will need to log in if you are not already.
- You will see a list of devices that you have signed in on or have been on for the past 28 days.
You may see the same device multiple times, and that’s normal. Don’t worry if you see multiple instances of an operating system or your iPhone listed repeatedly. You can click on each of them to see which browser was used. It could be a tip that someone else is logged in – see Firefox, for example, but you always use Safari.
If you see a device or location that looks suspicious, click on it, then choose “Don’t you recognize something?” Google will disconnect this device remotely. After that, change your password in case someone has it.
PRIVACY SOLUTION: How to remove your address and phone number from Google search results
Check the devices connected to Facebook
I get more emails than you think about people who have lost access to their Facebook account. Sometimes it’s a forgotten password, but I bet it’s a hacker’s fault.
Here’s how to see the devices connected to your Facebook account. It is easier to do this from a computer.
- Sign in, then click Down arrow in the upper right corner.
- Click on Settings and privacy > Settings.
- Finally, click Security and access.
- You will see a section called Where are you logged in. Shows the two most recent devices and their approximate access locations. Click the See more option for a wider view.
Examine each entry carefully and look for places you’ve never been or devices you don’t own. Pro tip: do you use a VPN? This could be reflected in your last positions. Check which city your VPN is connecting to before you panic.
You can click three points next to a device from this page to select “Not you?” or “Log out.” The first option will give you more details about the device and where it is, along with the steps to secure your account. The latter option will disconnect that device.
If you see devices and locations you don’t recognize, follow the onscreen instructions to secure your Facebook account, disconnect those devices and change your password immediately.
While you’re at it, give your account a change of privacy. Tap or click here for 10 Facebook security settings to lock your account.
Who is signed in to your Netflix?
Hands up if you’ve ever shared a streaming subscription password. Over time, you may realize, “Hey, I have no idea who’s watching.” This can get annoying when you try to stream a movie and get kicked out.
You can see all connected devices and disconnect them remotely in just a few steps. It is easier to perform this task from your computer.
- Log into your Netflix account. If you have multiple profiles set up, select your profile to go to the Netflix home page.
- Hover over yours profile icon in the upper right corner of the screen and choose accounts.
- In the Settings section, select Recent streaming activity of the device.
- You will see a list of connected devices, locations and IP addresses.
Do you see any device or location other than yourself? You should also check if the IP address is one you recognize. The easiest way to find your The IP address is with a quick Google search for these words: What is my IP address?
Now, let’s assume you see a lot of devices that aren’t you. You can disconnect them.
- Hover over yours profile icon and choose accounts.
- In the Settings section, choose Sign out of all devices.
- Confirm that you want to do this and click Disconnection.
Have you ever wondered, “What kind of bird is that?” I’ll tell you about a Bird ID app to help you find out. Additionally, Apple patents a dual-display MacBook, the Wi-Fi 7 test shows speeds of 30 Gbps, and Microsoft Flight Simulator gets a “Top Gun: Maverick” add-on. I’ll also tell you how to check your heart rate using your phone and set up an online will.
Check out my “Kim Komando Today” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you have your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Command”.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show e tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch The Kim Commando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
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Discover all the latest technologies on The Kim Commando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim answers calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters, and more, she visits her website at Komando.com.