If a friend or family member alerts you about an email they’ve received from “you” that seems fishy, your email may have been compromised. We’ll explain what may have happened, my advice for the next steps you should take, and my prevention tips.
Has my email been compromised?
It’s more common than you might think. Maybe you’ve received a fishy email from a friend or family member, or maybe one of your contacts alerts you to an email they’re not sure if you sent.
MAJOR PASSWORD MANAGER SUFFERS ANOTHER SECURITY BREACH
How to check if your email address is being spoofed or hacked
What does it mean if your email is spoofed or hacked? If your email address is being spoofed it means a hacker has made it appear as if an email to your contacts is coming from you, but it actually isn’t. If your email’s been hacked, someone may have access to your account.
So how can you check which one has happened in this case?
Check your “sent” messages in your email. If you see unusual emails going out, you’ve likely been hacked. If you don’t, hackers may have just spoofed your email address. If your email was spoofed, there’s not much you can do except protect yourself from it happening again.
How did my email address get in the hands of hackers?
You may have clicked a link in another email accidentally, which could’ve given the sender access to your contacts list. Malware is hiding everywhere, but your email may also have been in a random email generator and was just used by chance in hopes they could hack someone else.
Next steps if your email address has been hacked
1. Change your email password
While your account may have been compromised, if you can still access it, be sure to change your password immediately.
2. Turn on 2-Factor authentication
Make sure you have a backup way to log in to your email. Head to your email settings to add a phone number or second email account so that if your account ever falls into the wrong hands, you can take care of it quickly.
3. Alert your friends and family
If you have a Facebook account, it’s good to post a status warning to friends and family that your account has been hacked, and they shouldn’t click any links they receive in messages from you.
You should also send an email to your contacts list to let them know the “fishy” email didn’t come from you – and they should be careful of clicking any emails from you in the near future.
4. Turn on an Antivirus program so your email doesn’t get hacked again
A good Antivirus software will alert and prevent you from clicking any strange links. That way, your account is safe even before you get a chance to get hacked. See my top reviews of the Best Antivirus protection for any device at LockUpYourTech.com
5. Secure your email
If you’re still worried about your email and hackers potentially accessing your private information, it may be time to switch to a private and secure email server.
The top private email providers are expert-reviewed and rated at CyberGuy.com/Mail.