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October 24, 2021 by Tanya Aquino

5 Clear Signs of a Hacked Email Account and What to Do

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We mostly assume our email account is secure until we start seeing odd things. Spotting the signs of a hacked email is more complex than it seems, with hackers becoming more subtle and sophisticated.

In this article, we’ve compiled some of the most obvious signs your email has been hacked – and what you can do about it. Read on!

Five Signs of a Hacked Email Account

1. Emails You Didn’t Send

Seeing emails in your “sent” folder that you didn’t send is one of the clear signs of a compromised account. However, some email hackers erase emails after sending them, which can make detection more challenging.

2. Password Change Requests or Confirmations

Hackers can test your email address at popular banks, social networking platforms, e-commerce sites, etc. Unrequested password change emails may suggest that someone is attempting to determine which websites you frequently visit, then use this information to gain control of your account.

3. You’ve Been Locked Out

When you attempt to log in, you may see an error message indicating that your username or password is wrong. If you’re 100% sure you didn’t make a mistake while typing your password, this could mean that the hacker has already altered your credentials.

4. IP Addresses That Don’t Match Up to Yours

Some email providers have a feature that displays the last time (or numerous times) you accessed your account as well as the IP address you used.

For example, Gmail documents your IP address every time you log in to your account. As a result, if a third party gains access to your account, their IP address is also saved. Scroll to the bottom of your Gmail account to view a list of logged IP addresses.

You can view the IP address of your last five activities by clicking on ‘Details.’ If the IP addresses displayed in the logs do not belong to you, your email may have been hacked.

5. Your Contacts Tell You

Hackers often send strange emails to your contact list. Your contacts will most likely send you a follow-up message to clarify or confirm your message. If you didn’t send such an email and you’re getting lots of heads-ups from your contacts, it might mean a hacker is already in control of your email.

How to Deal With a Hacked Email

Make a New Email Address

The best course of action is to cancel the hacked account and create a new one. For your new account, pick a strong password that combines numbers, symbols, and characters. It’s also a good idea to create a separate email address for online purchases. This separates your personal information from information about online transactions.

Inform Contacts You’ve Been Hacked.

When deciding what to do if your email is hacked, remember that you’ll also need to secure your contact list. Tell your friends, relatives, and everyone else on your email contact list that you’ve been hacked.

When attackers had access to your account, they may have sent dozens, if not hundreds, of malware-laden emails to everyone you know. This form of phishing attempt allows them to get access to a fresh set of victims.

Report the Email Hack

Ensure to reach out to your email provider and report the hack, if you haven’t already. This is critical even if your hacked email did not result in you losing access. Reporting a hack assists providers in tracking scam-related activities. By reporting a hack, you protect yourself and others from future dangers by assisting the provider in improving their security.

Furthermore, your email provider may be able to provide information regarding the origin or nature of the assault. You may discover that the breach is wider and impacts other services you use.

Implement New Email Security Protocols

Check to see if your PC is clean. Run a powerful anti-virus tool to ensure that your computer is free of spyware and other sorts of malware. Additionally, ensure that you have updated all of the most recent security patches and updates for your operating system and browser.

Conclusion

It all comes down to self-education. Breaking into your email address will be considerably more difficult after you know these security factors and apply them to your accounts.

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