Scammers hack email accounts so they can steal personal information, especially financial information or send phoney messages from a trusted email address in hopes of getting the recipients to take action. Email account hack is like a bridge to further scam or steal from you, your email account on its own has no use but the information on it or the ones it can help gain access to can be destructive to your mental and financial well being.
How to know your email has been hacked
You may get a message from friends or loved ones who had received an odd email from you and they are clever enough to know it can’t be from you. They may contact you via other means to confirm if you were the one that sent the message (standard online security protocol).
But you may be able to spot signs of trouble before you get tipped off by a friend. Here are three indicators that your email account has likely been hacked:
- You can’t log into your email account. When you try to log in, you may get a message that your username or password is incorrect. This could mean the hacker changed your credentials to lock you out of your account. This is the worst case possible because if the appropriate measure is not taken the hacker can have access to the email account forever.
- Your sent-messages folder looks bizarre. Your outbox might contain messages that you have not authenticated, or in some cases, the folder might be empty when you have not deleted anything from it – this might be the hacker covering his tracks.
- Strange activities appear on your social media accounts. If your latest social media post is lauding some product you’ve never used, the hacker may have gained access to both your email and social media accounts. Your email account is a perfect gateway to your social media accounts. The hacker will simply click “forgot password” at login and have a password reset link sent right to your email inbox, which is already hacked.
Your email also may contain a fortune of information about your bank account, credit cards, and other financial information. A hacked email can put you and your email contacts at risk for identity theft and bank account or credit card fraud. If you think your email has been hacked, take quick action to minimize the damage.
Things To Do If Your Email Account Has Been Hacked
Has your email account been compromised? Here are few things to do to regain control of your account, banish the hacker and prevent future attacks.
1. Change your credentials.
The first step is to take back control of your account. If the hacker has not logged you out if he has you may have to contact some expert to help you recover it. You will probably have to provide an array of information to prove your identity so they can help recover your account from the hacker.
If you do still have access to your account, make these changes right away:
Get a new username and password.
Choose a strong password. Secure passwords or passphrases should contain at least 12 characters, including numbers, symbols and a mix of capital and lowercase letters. Password managers offer an easy and secure way to create complex passwords and keep track of your login credentials. Make sure you have different passwords for multiple accounts.
Change your security questions.
The hacker may have gotten access to your account by guessing the answers to security questions. They could hack your account again if you don’t change these questions and answers. Avoid choosing questions with answers that can easily be guessed or found online. For example, don’t choose “What’s your mother’s middle name?” if your mom routinely uses her first, middle, and last name on social media.
Turn on two-step verification.
Also known as 2FA, this extra security measure typically requires you to enter your username and password along with a temporary passcode that is changed every minute to get into an account. For example, the service provider may send the one-time passcode to your phone each time you try to log in. Without your phone in hand, a hacker will be much less likely to gain entry into an account that has two-step verification turned on. Software like Google Authenticator can be connected to your email account to automatically generates a 2FA password every minute.
2. Recover your account.
If the hacker has locked you out of your account the best thing to do is to hire a recovery expert to recover your account. A recovery expert might sometimes serve as a liaison officer between you and your email provider to ensure a quick response from your email provider and convince them that you are the owner of the email account in question. While sometimes the recovery expert uses various social engineering mechanisms to retrieve your account without relying on your email provider.
To hire a recovery expert go to Recoveries Pro and file a case. Recoveries pro is an online marketplace for different recovery experts. With over 8 years of experience in the business, Recoveries Pro is a trusted platform that will surely deliver on its given task.