I had some private pictures and videos in a folder along with some normal wallpapers. I checked today, and was shocked to find out that only the private pics and videos were not present in the folder, but wallpapers were present. My wifi device remains connected to the laptop. What has possibly happened? Has someone got my private files if they hacked my wifi? Can a hacker get access to files on hard disk drives of laptop if wireless wifi device gets hacked? Is it that easy?

The key that's used to connect to the device is written on the device. No one visited my house, so no chance of getting the key that way.

I am using HP I7 with windows 7. Avast antivirus free version is active.
Laptop is password protected.

closed as too broad by Philipp, schroeder Aug 21 '17 at 14:10

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    Yes. But why are you so sure the problem is a "hacked Wifi device"? There are thousands of more likely things, and a hacked Wifi device itself is multiple distinct possibilities. – user155462 Aug 21 '17 at 12:16
  • because i dont use that laptop. I only use it to connect the wifi device. Mostly, it remains on the password screen for the user. – Wasted Youth Aug 21 '17 at 12:36
  • Can you give more details about your infrastructure? Is the laptop used as a hotspot for your other computers? In principle, if someone got themself to your wifi network, it can be possible to access your files – skooog Aug 21 '17 at 12:42
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    It is also very unlikely that some one would move those files off your drive instead of just copying them. No disrespect, but it sounds like PEBCAK – Jan Doggen Aug 21 '17 at 12:46
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    All we have to work with is "files are missing, what could have happened?" That's not a lot to work with. Anything is possible, including a variety of non-malicious possibilities. – schroeder Aug 21 '17 at 14:09

From the information you provided, this might be a hard disk drive failure. You should first check the SMART parameters of the drive. You can then make Windows to try to repair the drive. You can also try software to recover the lost files.

Anyway, you should disable SMB v1 and use a strong password to lock your session. You can use SMB v2. Apply all Windows updates. Then check the permissions of the shared folders: only existing users must be able to connect to the share, using a password.

  • Is it possible that only some files disappear in disk failure? – Wasted Youth Aug 22 '17 at 4:17
  • I depends. If the files that disappeared where in the same directory and the directory got corrupted, yes. Some other specifics of the file systems might have got corrupted, but I do not have enough information from what you provided and I don't know enough about file systems to be able to say more. If all your files were randomly put in the same folder and just some specific ones where removed, this would suggest a pattern, either done by a human or a software (e.g. a virus infected some files depending on a pattern and your antivirus deleted them afterwards). – A. Hersean Aug 22 '17 at 7:38
  • Also, you should not trust your memory. Human memory is highly unreliable. Humans tend to forget memories and sometimes replace them by imagination, unconsciously. Even though unlikely, you might have deleted the files, or you might have given someone the ability to do so. – A. Hersean Aug 22 '17 at 7:40
  • I live alone and no one visits me. the memory probability is close to minus. I checked network and file sharing settings ..and it wasnt shared with anyone either. Does it saves from wifi attack? One more thing i have realized ; some pics are duplicated.. i.e. having 2 copies of the same file with different name.. while the rest are only one copy. I am worried because only private files are gone from 2 sub folders.. why not other files which i have no concern of.. thats why i am astonished by the fact that it is a SELECTIVE DISK FAILURE. – Wasted Youth Aug 22 '17 at 9:32
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