If your email account is hacked, very sensitive data can quickly fall into the wrong hands: Hackers can gain access to your online payment services such as PayPal, make purchases in your name, spy on company secrets. The consequences can be serious – but instead of panicking, you should stay calm and follow the easy steps below. Because in many cases, you can regain control of your account before something worse happens.
How to Hack Email Account
Hackers use various methods to compromise email addresses and the associated passwords; here are the two most common ways:
- Phishing via Fake E-mails: In this method, a hacker send fake emails that are intended to trick recipients into enter credentials on fake websites. Often, these are emails that pretend to come from a well-known website and ask for the password for supposed security reasons. The recipients are redirected to a fake website, which is usually a clone to the original website. However, the passwords entered there are not checked for security at all, but are sent directly to the hacker. The fact is: reputable websites, mail providers, payment services and online stores never ask their users for passwords by e-mail. Therefore, never disclose your data so openly!
- Attacks by means of Malware: This is the most effective way of hacking an email account. In most cases, malware gets onto the victim’s computer via a Phishing e-mail with a dangerous file attachment. When such an attachment is opened, the malware installs a spyware or keyloggers. These malware programs run silently and secretly in the background and spy on sensitive data and passwords. Keyloggers, for example, record all keystrokes on the infected PC and transmit the data to the hacker – including passwords, of course. The most effective protection against spyware is to always have up-to-date virus protection and an activated firewall installed on the computer. But as a user, you also have to be careful: always be skeptical and question the authenticity of mails before opening their attachments.
Learn more: Best Antivirus Program to use in 2022
What to do if an email account is hacked?
First try to log in to your account as usual. If this is possible without any problems, the password has not been changed by the hackers yet. You should do this yourself as soon as possible: To do so, go to the page of your email provider and change the password in the settings of your account. Afterwards, you must also change the password in the mail programs on all your devices, otherwise incoming mails will no longer reach you there. The same security measures apply here as above, i.e.: choose a password that you will only use for your e-mail account from now on. If you still use this password on another website, you should immediately think of a new one for this one as well.
If the password has already been changed by attacker, you can also get access to your account by answering one or more security questions at most mail providers. To do this, use the “Forgotten password” function. Depending on the information you have stored in the mailbox, you may be asked questions about your mother’s maiden name or the name of your first pet, for example. As a rule, only you know the answers to these questions. Other providers also ask for your cell phone number or recovery e-mail addresses. If the questions are answered correctly, you will receive a new password by e-mail. Then change this to a different one (not the previous one!) in order to “lock out” the hacker.
Now it’s time to investigate the causes: Scan your entire system – ideally with good antivirus program – for malware. We recommend Kaspersky, while Bitdefender, for example, offers a free online scan. If the password was spied on with a keylogger and the e-mail account was hacked, the malware could also read out the changed password again. If the scan shows a result, be sure to change the password one more time after removing the malware. This way, you can be absolutely sure that the malware did not steal your new password as well. If it was not due to a malicious program on your computer, there is a high probability that you have been a victim of a phishing email or a larger-scale data theft in the past.
Finally, you should prepare yourself for the future: It is best to change all passwords. If keyloggers were installed on your computer, they may have hijacked your other passwords as well. Since good passwords are difficult to remember, we highly recommend the use of a password manager. These programs manage all your passwords and remind you to change them at regular intervals – so you can easily keep track of them in the future.
You should also secure your most important accounts with two-factor authentication. This is a double security system that requires a separate numerical code in addition to a password for logging in.
We recommend you start using Password Manager to create and save all your online accounts.
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