Have you ever tried to check your email but you find you can’t log in. Your friends and family might even be receiving messages that you know you didn’t send. What’s the deal? Unfortunately, you’ve probably been hacked! It may be because of malware installed on your computer, a company’s data breach, or even someone you know who was able to guess your security questions and change your password.
So… what do you do if your email has been hacked? Here are a few quick steps you can take to help recover your account and protect the security of your identity and your personal information.
Hackers usually gain access to your accounts and passwords through computer viruses you might not have noticed. You will need to make sure your computer is clean before you do anything else.
Also, you will want to make sure that your computer and all of the important software (like your anti-virus) are up to date. Take a look at your settings and make sure they are set to update automatically. Then, run a security scan and see if there are any problem programs or viruses. Delete anything that comes up as suspicious, and restart your machine.
Once you have made sure that your computer is virus free you will want to change your passwords. Changing passwords is always a bit of a pain… but it really should be done every few months even if you have no problems. Some people like to use password managers which generates very strong passwords and keeps track of them for you. Those usually come with a monthly fee.
The company that hosts your email should have measures that you can take to verify your identity and restore access to your account (such as texting a code to your phone). Once you have regained access to your email account, go to your settings and check them thoroughly. You will want to make sure your emails aren’t being forwarded to somebody else… and check to make sure that no links have been added to your email signature.
If you are at all concerned that your account has been compromised you need to let your friends and family know… they might have to do some work of their own if they clicked on a bad link that came from what they thought was you.
Also, sharing this blog post may help someone you know.
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