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Signs that your computer has been hacked

If you think your computer has been hacked, and have Norton installed on your computer, the best option to rule out a threat infection is to perform a full system scan. However, there may be instances where the scan did not detect any threat, or you cannot perform a scan. In these scenarios, we recommend that you run a scan using Norton Power Eraser. Norton Power Eraser is a free, downloadable tool that uses aggressive methods to detect threats.

Many Norton offerings come with an additional benefit called the Norton Virus Protection Promise, which includes access to Norton experts who can work with you to diagnose and remove viruses should you run into any problems during your subscription. For more information, read What is Norton Virus Protection Promise?

How do I know that my computer is hacked?

If your computer is hacked, you might notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent pop-up windows, especially the ones that encourage you to visit unusual sites, or download antivirus or other software

  • Changes to your home page

  • Mass emails being sent from your email account

  • Frequent crashes or unusually slow computer performance

  • Unknown programs that startup when you start your computer

  • Programs automatically connecting to the Internet

  • Unusual activities like password changes

Download Norton Power Eraser and run a scan (on Windows 11/10/8/7)

  1. Depending on your version of Windows, download one of the following: 
    • On 64-bit Windows: Norton Power Eraser.
    • On 32-bit Windows: Norton Power Eraser.

  2. Press Ctrl + J key, to open the Downloads window in your browser, and double-click the NPE.exe file.

    If the User Account Control window prompts, click Yes or Continue.

  3. Read the license agreement and click Agree.

    If you have already accepted the license agreement, you will not be prompted again.

    Norton Power Eraser checks for and automatically downloads the new version if available.

  4. In the Norton Power Eraser window, select Full System Scan, and click Run Now.

  5. If you want to include the Rootkit scan, click Settings, and under Scan and Log Settings, toggle the option Include Rootkit scan (requires a computer restart) and click Apply.

  6. When you see a prompt to restart the computer, click Restart.

    Wait for the scan to complete. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Download Norton Power Eraser and run a scan (on Windows XP/Vista)

  1. Download Norton Power Eraser.

  2. Press Ctrl + J key, to open the Downloads window in your browser, and double-click the NPE.exe file.

    If the User Account Control window prompts, click Yes or Continue.

  3. Read the license agreement, and click Accept.

    Norton Power Eraser checks for and prompts to download the new version if available.

  4. In the Norton Power Eraser window, click the Scan for Risks icon.

  5. By default, Norton Power Eraser performs a Rootkit scan and requires a system restart. When you see a prompt to restart the computer, click Restart.

    If you do not want to include the Rootkit scan, go to Settings, and uncheck the option Include Rootkit scan (requires a computer restart).

  6. Wait for the scan to complete. Follow the on-screen instructions.

How do I remove the infection from my computer?

Once you have a virus on your computer, it may attack Norton and prevent it from working properly. In these cases, the virus must be removed manually. Norton offers free, do-it-yourself support options as well as a paid service where we take care of removing threats for you.

You can let our Spyware & Virus Removal Service expert technicians do all the work for you. Our Spyware & Virus Removal Service is handled by highly trained expert technicians who work with you for as long as it takes to locate and neutralize all known threats on your computer.

Contact our Spyware & Virus Removal Service

Best practices

The following are some of the best practices that will keep your computer safe.

  • Keep your Norton product updated with the latest Virus definitions

  • Do not click on any intriguing pop-up advertisements

  • Always scan your email attachments before opening them

  • Always scan the files that you download using file sharing programs

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DOCID: v109569350
Operating System: Windows
Last modified: 01/10/2022