8 steps for coping and recovering from an email hack.–PC Pitstop.
8 Steps for Coping with Email Hacks
by Suzanne Kantra for Techlicious
Recently, I got an email from a friend urging me to check out an amazing page. Between the grammatical errors and a link pointing to a server somewhere in Russia, it was obvious that my friend’s email account had been hacked.
When I checked in with her another way, she already knew about the problem—the hacker’s message had gone out to her entire address book—and she was quite concerned. So I walked her through the steps for getting everything back in order.
Step #1: Change your password
The very first thing you should do is keep the hacker from getting back into your email account. Change your password to a strong password that is not related to your prior password; if your last password was billyjoe1, don’t pick billyjoe2—and if your name is actually BillyJoe, you shouldn’t have been using your name as your password in the first place.
Try using a meaningful sentence as the basis of your new password. For example, “I go to the gym in the morning” turns into “Ig2tGYMitm” using the first letter of each word in the sentence, mixing uppercase and lowercase letters and replacing the word “to” with “2.”
Step #2: Reclaim your account
If you’re lucky, the hacker only logged into your account to send a mass email to all of your contacts.
If you’re not so lucky, the hacker changed your password too, locking you out of your account. If that’s the case, you’ll need to reclaim your account, usually a matter of using the “forgot your password” link and answering your security questions or using your backup email address.
Check out the specific recommendations for reclaiming possession of your account for Gmail, Outlook.com and Hotmail, Yahoo! and AOL.
Step #3: Enable two-factor authentication
Set your email account to require a second form of authentication in addition to your password whenever you log into your email account from a new device. When you log in, you’ll also need to enter a special one-time use code the site will text to your phone or generated via an app.
Check out two-step authentication setup instructions for Gmail, Microsoft’s Outlook.com and Hotmail and Yahoo!. AOL doesn’t support two-factor authentication yet.
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