What To Do If Your Email Is Hacked
Imagine reaching office and logging into one’s computer. But, instead of being able to access one’s inbox, you see an error displayed. Considering it a typo, we try again. The error stays. That is when we begin to panic. Have we been hacked? Is one’s security compromised? Will the hacker access other accounts through this one account? As a mixture of panic and fear sets in you realize, ‘Houston, We Have A Problem’.
So, what should one do in the scene of an email hack? The answer is quite simple as one of the key things one needs to keep in mind is keeping a level head. Once, that aspect is covered, one can logically undertake a few steps that can help in retrieving their email access.
Step 1 – KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)
A . Try changing your password.
‘Keep it simple stupid’ aka KISS is a protocol that often comes to aid in times of need. So, why not try to change the password by clicking on forgot password? Maybe, by answering the simple security questions, one will be able to retrieve access to their inbox. Also, it is prudent that in this scenario, one makes the password longer, more difficult and preferably, alphanumeric and with symbols for extra protection.
B . Report that hack to the email site.
Once one has managed to gain access to their email via the password process, one must immediately report the instance to the email provider. They shall in turn ask 30 something questions in regard to determine your identity and verify your account relation and then provide you with all the information like the source from where the hack occurred and its nature. This shall help prevent such instances from happening again.
Step 2 – SCAN (Scan Device )
A . Another important thing to do in case one feels that their account has been hacked is to scan their device, computers for any malware, ransomware bug. These can be dormant till a certain time after which they become active and cause log in errors. A reputable malware scanner comes to aid in such times of need.
B . Furthermore, one must also initiate a schedule for updating system files and folders and even software that has been installed. Any security breach must be detected, and updates help in achieving the same.
Step 3 – ALERT (Constant Vigilance)
A . With immediate effect inform your peers and all your contact list of the security lapse. This shall help in preventing any frauds from being undertaken in your name. Also, send out reminders that one shall be informed once the crisis has been averted and till then, not to click on or access any emails bearing one’s name that arrive in their inbox.
B . Furthermore, it is prudent that we keep a look out for phishing scams that lead to this scenario. While many a times ransomware, malicious malware enter our devices via email, there are instances of them gaining entry via scripts or sites. If in the odd case, a ransomware/malware is detected, reinstall the OS on your device and then change all the passwords of all the accounts that are on your device. A tedious process, but it shall strengthen one’s device over time. It shall also help in preventing the malware from sending the hackers back new scripts.
Step 4 – REFRESH
A . If in case one is unable to reclaim access to one’s inbox, it becomes important to create a whole new email id. For the same, one needs to activate a two-step verification process which shall alert the user for any unauthorized access in one’s email account.
B . When creating a new account, one also needs to keep in mind that they do not choose easy security questions. A birthdate can be gotten off a quick glance to one’s Facebook account. Similarly, one should avoid visiting the different social media sites till one is sure of nipping the hack in the bud. These precautions help in protecting further hacks on the visited social media pages.
Must Read : 5 Ways To Identify And Remove Malicious Emails
While an email hacking is the most inconvenient thing to happens to one’s digital identity, it is also a sign that additional precaution is necessary to curb it. By following a few steps, one may be able to recover their email inbox but, that is just the first step in ensuring complete cyber security and protection.