What Should You Do If Your Email Account is Hacked?
Posted by: John Mickle on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 12:00:00 am
We have seen an increased number of customers who have had their email accounts hacked…in other words someone has gained unauthorized access to an email account and may attempt to commit fraud using your email account.
Signs that your email account might be hacked:
You cannot get logged into your email account and/or not able to reset your password.
Your friends report to you that they are getting strange or large numbers of email from you.
Your inbox is full of message failure notices that you didn’t send.
There are messages in your Sent, Draft or Outbox folders that you don’t recognize.
Your email signature lines have changed…look for additional links and odd phone numbers listed.
Your contact list has been deleted and/or there are contacts you don’t recognize.
You’re not getting any email messages at all.
What to do if you suspect your email account is hacked:
Change your password…if you are unable to do so call your email provider immediately…be prepared to supply additional verification to them on who you are.
Notify folks in your address book to be on the lookout for spam and phishing type emails from you.
Notify your bank immediately that your email account has been compromised so they can be on the lookout for fraudulent account transaction requests…do this even if you don’t bank via the Internet.
Consider closing the email account out and establishing a new email address.
Consider having a backup email account that you don’t publish to anyone in order to have a means to communicate via email and some providers offer password recovery services to backup primary email accounts.
Steps to protecting your email account:
Frequently (at least every 90 days) change your email account password.
Do not store any passwords in email especially passwords to Internet banking.
Do not store account numbers or account statements in email folders. Store them offline on your computer and back them up preferably to a separate disk drive.
Review your bank accounts activity online at least weekly looking for suspicious transactions.
Empty the trash folder when you close email.
Do not click on links inside of an email from an unknown source.
Make sure your computers have virus/malware detection/removal software that is updated frequently. (Many times your Internet Service Provider provides these tools free of charge.)
Remember that if something in an email sounds too good to be true…it probably is.
Only share your email with friends on social media sites making sure that it’s not visible to everyone on your public profile.