Oh No! it Happened to me! All my contacts have received this awkward e-mail from “apparently me”.
Has my account been hacked?
How could that happen? What Shall I do? I am at a loss!
Identify your account has really been hacked
To begin, no panic it happens all the time, it recently happened to easyjet.
So if it happens to them and they have a highly sophisticated security system in place, it can happen to you.
- Has your e-mail password been changed?
Did you try to connect to your account and could not? That is one of the most distressing signs you have been hacked.
- Do you have any strange e-mails in your sent folder or your inbox?
Not all hackers lock you out completely. Some just want to use your account to send spam or gather more information on you. Therefore, you will notice weird e-mails in your sent mails, or bouncing back mails in your inbox.
- Did you receive an unexpected password reset email?
You may have noticed recently a password reset email that you never asked for. This is a sign that you may have been hacked.
- Have your friends been complaining about some weird e-mail from you?Usually friends are the first to warn us of some dodge activity from our account. This is the most frequent way of noticing that we have been skammed.
Finally there is a really wonderful tool called:
This allows you to verify immediately whether your account has been hacked. This website is free. It allows you to check whether your personal data has been compromised.
Let’s say your account has really been hacked! What should you do next?
- Change your passwordThis is the first thing to do. Ideally you want to use a password manager such as Dashlane, LastPasss, Keychain, etc. Basically, any is better than using over again the same password. Change all your accounts that would potentially use the same password.
- Check and update your computer’s securityHackers tend to collect passwords using malware that has been installed on your computer or smartphone. Make sure you are using an anti-virus no matter what OS you are using. If you are already using an anti-virus then just scan your computer.
- Tell friends and family you have been hacked
The objective is not for people to feel sorry for you. You are alerting them that your account has been hacked and that the hacker could be sending out strange e-mails from your account.
- Keep an eye on your financial account
Hackers could have just enough information to crack a credit card account and make online purchases. Monitor your account and let your bank know about the situation.
- Take a close look at the hacked account
If you use the same username and passwords on multiple accounts, you may find that the hackers have already gotten into other accounts. You will have to do an account recovery and repair for each of them.
- Report the hack
Let your email provider know about the hack. It will allow them to track scams. They may also provide you with information regarding the attack.
- Create a New account
If this is not the first time you are hacked with the same provider it may be worth considering a change.
- Reinstall OSIf the attack is on your computer you may need to reinstall completely your system.
- Check out this article
How to avoid being hacked
- Make sure you have a good anti-virus even on a Mac.
- Make sure you have complicated passwords which you do not use across multiple accounts.
- Use a password manager.
- Clear browser cookies regularly.
- Never click on suspicious links nor download applications from unknow sources.
- Turn on two-Factor authentication wherever your service provider offers it.
- Do not open attachments in emails unless you know who sent them.
- Download free software only from sites you know and trust.
- Use a VPN (virtual private network) to keep your traffic completely encrypted.
Do not wait for your account to be hacked before making the above changes. Security is an attitude and a reflex. Make sure to make the steps above part of your online habit.