How was your account hacked

Has your email account been hacked? These are the steps you should take

According to the 2015 Radicati Report on Email Statistics, the number of global email users is expected to rise to nearly three billion by 2019. In addition, the report predicts that users will receive 96 messages per day instead of 88 messages per day. With the ubiquity and proliferation of email, your account is a tempting target for hackers. If your email account is hacked, here are some things you can do to get rid of it.

1. Perform a virus scan

As stated in the FTC Email Hacks Guide, the first thing you should do after an email hack is to run a full virus scan. The important thing is that you don't run a quick scan, but rather an in-depth investigation to find and eliminate all malware and unwanted applications - including Trojans, spyware, and keyloggers that record your keystrokes even after the hack is detected. Hackers don't just want access to your account so they can send embarrassing messages to your friends: they are looking for ways to steal your money or commit credit card fraud. For example, hackers attack companies that regularly transfer amounts electronically. Once an email account has been hacked, they can make their own unauthorized transfers. Despite network protections and IT teams, companies have suffered losses of $ 747 million in the past two years, according to the FBI Cyber ​​Crime Complaint Center. If your e-mail accounts are hacked, you should run the virus scan as soon as possible. You need to make sure your computer is clean before making any changes to sensitive information. Otherwise you risk another attack.

2. Change your passwords

Once your computer is malware free, you will need to change your password. If you have lost access to your account, you will have to contact the email provider directly, confirm your identity and request a password reset. Choose a new password that is very different from your old one, and make sure it doesn't contain any strings of repeated characters or numbers. Also, don't use passwords that have an obvious connection to your name, birthday, or similar personal details. Hackers can usually find this information easily and use it for their first attempts to access the account. Use complex passwords (using a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters) that are at least 15 characters long, and never use the same password for multiple accounts.

3. Think about your other online services

In addition, it is essential to also have the passwords of your other payment-based accounts, such as B. Amazon, Netflix, credit card companies, and even your local library, to prevent hackers from accessing those accounts as well. In some cases the problem lies in using the same password for different pages, but different passwords are not always sufficient if your account contains e-mails that lead directly to the linked online providers.

4. Notify friends

Credit.com states that it is also a good idea to report the hack to friends, family, and acquaintances on your email contact list. Because while the attackers were in control of your account, they could have sent dozens or even hundreds of emails with malicious attachments to anyone you know in order to gain access to new victims. If you warn your contacts, they can take steps to protect their devices.

5. Change your security questions

While the password was the most likely attack vector, the hackers may also have got into your account by answering your security question. According to the latest Google research, many users choose the same answer to common security questions. For example, when asked about their favorite dish, 20 percent of American users answered “pizza”. To better protect your e-mail account, you should also use multi-factor authentication for password recovery, which is already offered by many companies. Secondary e-mail addresses or text messages are used here, as security questions alone are not sufficient.

6. Report the attack

If you haven't already, contact your email provider and report the hack. This is important even if the hack did not cause you to lose access, as it allows the providers to better track the fraudulent behavior. In addition, your email provider may be able to assist you by providing information about the origin or type of attack.

7. Create a new email account