What to do if my Email has been Hacked?

One fine day, when you log into your email you find the inbox empty and all your contacts deleted or worse still maybe you can’t log in at all—it’s clear that your email account has been hacked! Don’t fret- this has happened to most of us at one time or the other, so it’s good to know what you need to do in such a case.

The importance of having an iron-clad password cannot be emphasized enough. If you can login to your account, use password reset and change your password to something long and complex, making it hard for hackers to figure out. Do make sure that you use a mixture of multiple cases, symbols, special characters and numbers. If you can’t get in, log into your account through the website of your email provider and do a password reset. A word of caution—don’t use real words, birth dates, brand names and the like; never repeat the same password twice, and if you’re comfortable use password managers to store long and complex passwords that you’re likely to forget. Although two-factor authentication isn’t impenetrable, it does add an extra layer of protection.

Gmail has now introduced a new feature and users can reset the password using their mobile number. Once the password is reset, new login details are forwarded to the mobile number itself.

Remembering different passwords for different accounts is difficult, and oftentimes we tend to use the same password with other services like Internet banking, social media or Amazon. Hence, it’s imperative to do password resets for these other accounts also once you’ve changed it for your email account. Ideally, different accounts should have different passwords.

Get your anti-virus scanner running and scan your system. Hackers love leaving a trail behind in the form of malware or a Trojan, so either quarantine any viruses your find or better still eliminate them. Don’t compromise on your security software program—get the best that’s available- it’s a real good investment. More importantly, ensure that your anti-virus and anti-malware programs are up to date.

Hackers may use your contact list to target and trick your friends, so let everyone on your contact list know that your account has been compromised—that will make them treat mails from you with more caution and suspicion. If they already find themselves in the same boat as you’re in, make sure that they take corrective measures.

You need to get your apps working securely again and would need to modify account details and enter the new password in place of the one that’s been compromised. You probably can do this by going to the settings menu and change your account details there, regardless of whether it’s an iPhone, your iPad or your tablet.

Be wary about mails from banks and companies asking you to authenticate information online.

No institution or organization will ever do that. When you download content check the authenticity of the site you’re getting software from.

It’s a nightmare when your email account is hacked and hackers are always one step ahead of us. Though you cannot completely put an end to hack attacks, you can safeguard against them and protect your email accounts as well as you can.

Control your email account and don’t let hackers control them.