Email allows people to instantly connect with others across the world and share almost any information they want. They frequently contain text, document attachments and multimedia such as images and videos.
With all of this information able to be shared, chances are you’ve sent a good amount of sensitive information to other people over the years – and that makes your email account a target for cybercriminals.
Most of us find it difficult to comprehend why somebody would want to hack our emails. The simplest explanation is that cybercriminals want to gain access to uncover sensitive information you’ve sent in the past, as well as use your email account to contact your friends, family and coworkers requesting they send money, divulge private information or click a link that downloads malware, spyware or a virus. Here’s how to tell if your email has been compromised.
Unable to Login Using Your Credentials
If you try to log into your account using the credentials you’ve used before and they’re not working, it’s possible that a cybercriminal gained access and changed your email password. This is frequently one of the first steps they take after seizing control of your email account so they can take full control.
Suspicious IP Address
Every device linked to a network that utilizes IP (Internet Protocol) as its communication protocol has been given an IP address, which is a lengthy string of numbers; it serves as the equivalent of your home or office mailing address in the digital world.
Your IP addresses will typically repeat themselves if you access the internet mostly from home or the office. It can be a clue that a cybercriminal has gained access to your email account if you see it’s been accessed from a number of different IP addresses than what you usually see.
Unknown Spam Emails Were Sent
It’s likely that if a cybercriminal has accessed your email account, they’re sending spam emails from your email. If you receive messages from your contacts wondering why you’ve been sending them spam, be sure to investigate immediately.
Unknown Email to Reset Your Password
If you receive an email to reset the password that you didn’t initiate, chances are someone is trying to breach your email. Sometimes when a cybercriminal is trying to breach your email, their first attempt is to guess your password. Other times they may try to reset your password.
What to Do If Your Email Gets Hacked
Keeper’s Dark Web Scan Tool
Change Your Password
Any suspicious activity on your email is an indication to change your passwords immediately. Always reset your passwords to something unique and complex, that way, it will be almost impossible for any cybercriminal to crack your password. If you have trouble coming up with a strong enough password, use Keeper’s Free Password Generator to ensure you will generate the most complex passwords for your accounts.
Turn On Multi-Factor/2FA Authentication
Cybercriminals can quickly crack a weak password, but by using multi-factor authentication (MFA), they can be stopped. With multi-factor authentication (MFA), a user’s access to a website, application or platform is only permitted after presenting a number of verification factors in addition to the password to prove the person is who they claim to be when logging in.
Check Your Settings
When cybercriminals access an email account, they could make changes to the settings that further jeopardize your security. Make sure your email signature doesn’t contain any strange links and verify that no one else is receiving your emails through auto-forwarding.
Warn Your Contacts
Inform your contacts list hat your email has been hacked. Tell them to erase any communications from your account that seem fishy. Additionally, warn them against opening applications, clicking links, sharing credit card numbers, or sending money that were requested “from” you.
Stay Protected For Next Time
We understand how frustrating it can be if you fall victim to an email breach. No one suspects it could happen to them, but unfortunately, it is very common. Here are a few ways you can stay protected from an email breach.
Update Your Passwords Frequently
Change your password every 60-90 days, especially if you were a victim of a breach at least once before. Remember to change your password to something that cannot be guessed or figured out easily like how your birth year, sequential numbers or your pet’s name can be. The easiest way is to use a password generator.
Get A Password Manager
Using a password manager can improve the security of your accounts, making it much more difficult for cybercriminals to access them while also making it quick and easy for you to access your accounts. A password vault is part of the password manager and is the encrypted digital web vault that actually stores the login credentials, documents, images and other sensitive information.
Run Anti-Virus Software
Install security software on all of your devices by purchasing it from a reliable provider. Consider using effective security software like Norton if email account hacking is a worry for you.
Want to see if your passwords have been stolen in a data breach? Scan your email for free today.