What To Do If Your Email Gets Hacked
So, you’re email has been hacked. Some how, some way, an unauthorized source got into your account and email blasted all of your contacts with a pity story about how you are stranded in a foreign country and have no money to return home. Unfortunately, it happens. The good news is there are ways to fix the damage that may have been done (to a certain point) and prevent it from happening again. If you have recently had your email account hacked, follow these five steps to recover damages and prevent future problems.
Change Your Password(s)/Regain Access
Changing your password is the first thing you are going to want to do upon discovering your email has been hacked. Change your password to something you will be able to remember, but is not associated with your name, birthday, other personal information, etc. You may also want to change the passwords of other accounts you may access on your computer such as: social media profiles, bank logins, or websites you are subscribed to. You want to keep the hacker from being able to access any more of your information and further protecting other accounts on your computer is worth you time and effort.
While changing your password seems obvious, there are times when you can’t even access your own account after it has been hacked. In these instances, you are going to need to regain access. First, you are going to want to navigate to the email site help center. There you should be able to input the personal information you used to set up the account in order to once again gain access. From there, you are going to then want to come up with a new password that will be significantly more difficult to hack.
Check Computer Security
You are going to want to make sure that your computer has not been compromised. If you do not have an anti-virus software already installed on your computer, you may want to invest in one to help deter these problems in the future. Hackers easily obtain passwords by installing malware on your computer. That means, regardless of what device you are using, hackers will be able to detect your password and use it. You are going to want to check the malware settings on your cell phone and computer and then set up routing security checks to prevent these cyber attacks from occurring in the future.
Notify Your Contacts
Now you are going to want to apologize to all of your friends, family, and acquaintances that received the “hacker email” or simply notify them that your account was hacked. Let them know that if they did receive an odd email from you that they should not be alarmed and you are handling the situation.
Depending on what type of email account you have (Gmail, Yahoo, etc), you should report it so that they become aware and can track any patterns they may be seeing. Don’t just let the hacker win this battle. Tell people who can have an impact about the struggles you have faced and report exactly what the hacker did to inconvenience you.
Surf Safe Sites/Downloads
Moving forward, you are going to want to be more careful about what sites you browse and what programs you download on your computer. If the site or download is unsafe (often times, antivirus software will notify you before allowing you to proceed, if it grants access at all), be aware that you are exposing your operating system to a world of cyber crime that you will not be able to constantly monitor. If you don’t want to worry about accidentally accessing a dangerous site, you may want to look into purchasing an antivirus software that can do that work for you and keep you better protected from hackers in the future.