If a close friend of yours sends odd emails or spamming content, social media pages with contents that you don’t like, you might probably already aware of what happened: your email account was hacked. A hacked email account could result in more severe issues, such as identity theft and other security and privacy intrusions, which might impact your finances and reputation.
But before (or after) you fear, calm down, pull yourself together, and follow these simple steps:
Change your password
Hackers will not necessarily change your account passwords. This means that you have access to your accounts, and you are able to prevent future or further attacks from occurring. To change your password, simply use the”Forgot Password” link in your login page. Do this to all your accounts across all of your devices.
Use long, unique, and intricate passwords or passphrases for various accounts. Password managers can help create and handle multiple password accounts. Enable 2-step verification. The additional step would require a code sent to your phone to log in to an account or whenever account settings are changed. Unless the hacker gets your device, you can get the code.
Check your Settings
Scan your account settings and assess if anything has been changed. Hackers could have your mails forwarded to them, which might allow them to get login information and get your contacts’ email addresses. If you use an email signature, check for any dubious changes that may have been made.
Send an alert message to your contacts telling them that your email was hacked and to dismiss any suspicious message or article coming out of you, or bearing your name until you tell them you’ve resolved the situation. Warn them about clicking sent links also.
Scan your computer and other devices for malware
Regularly run a malware scan. When your account gets hacked, then immediately check for malware or remnants of malware which may be active on your computer.
If your scans detected malware, then change your password and re-check your preferences. Changing your passwords without cleaning your system may not lock hackers from your account if you have malware sending them your keys.
Implement preventive measures
Prevent hackers from breaking into your account. You can start by avoiding suspicious phishing emails, or attachments and links found in them. This goes for social networks also. Clicking on dubious links or articles can finally result in the phishing pages or the download of information-stealing malware.
Use private and secure networks. This may help prevent hackers from getting into your system.
Limit your exposure to social networks and the quantity of information you reveal to the public. Hackers and identity thieves are fast to assemble personal information on social websites so be cautious and keep personal details confidential.
Bookmark reputable sites, including online shopping websites you frequently use. This will prevent you from accidentally landing on the wrong site where hackers can slip malicious code or phishing links.
Implementing security products that use machine learning and artificial intelligence can better protect users from email hacks and other cyberattacks like business email compromise (BEC), which caused total worldwide losses of $12.5 billion this year.
Security options that use AI and ML technologies — such as Trend Micro’s Writing Style DNA, which can learn an individual’s writing style based on previous emails to thwart suspected forgeries — can help keep email scammers at bay.