How can I know if I’ve been hacked?

Someone I've had an argument with on Twitter threatened to hack my PC and divulge sensitive information. Reliable sources tell me this person is an expert hacker, who has done this before. How can I know if I'm being hacked and how can I protect myself better? I've got basic Avast running on my system now with default windows firewall settings etc.

Answer Wiki

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Don’t worry, its not that easy for someone for hacking your
system, he/she needs some basic information before they can really hack you. If
want to know you’ve been hacked, there are some signs that help you to know
about your problem.

You cannot access your account using your usual

You didn’t make any change in the file content
and you noticed that changes have been made.

There is more than one program on your computer
that you didn’t put there.

If your internet searches are being redirected.

anti-malware, virus software doesn’t work, appears disconnected.

toolbars appear in your browser. They may carry messages about
“helping” you.

To Protect yourself from these type of activities, do these
things mentioned below:

The best thing to do while
continuing to investigate is to disconnect from the internet and online
connectivity. That way, if a hacker is still in your computer, you’ve just
removed the source of connection.

  •        Pull the router plug out of the socket to be
    absolutely certain there is no connection!
  •        Print this page off or PDF it before powering
    down so that you can continue to follow the instructions offline. Or, read it
    on a separate device that isn’t hacked.

  1. Start up the computer in safe mode.
  2. Check if there aren’t any “new programs” (eg. Anti-virus, Anti-spyware, etc.) OR if programs and files
    won’t work or open. If you find anything, uninstall it as best you can. If you
    don’t know how, get a computer-savvy helper or call mobile computing help to
    come and do it for you.
  3. If that turns up with nothing, back up important files. Then
    do a complete system restore and update the computer.
  4. Contact your bank and any store accounts you have
    to alert them to a possible problem
  5. Alert friends that they may have received compromised emails
    from you.

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