Household Tip: Secure Email Account

ComputerWhat to do if your password has been hacked? You may not always know if you’ve been hacked. So if you get an email from a friend suggesting you’ve been sending weird emails that you know you personally didn’t send, here’s suggestions to start putting your online life back together.

  1. Change Your Password.  In the worst cases, you might not be able to do this because your password might have already been changed. But if you can, immediately log on and change your password to something difficult to guess.
  2. Contact Your Provider.  In the event you can’t change your password, get hold of your email provider. Every major email provider has some kind of help desk specifically for such situations.
  3. Tell Your Friends.  Tell close friends your account has been compromised to prevent the infection from spreading to an unwitting friend who opens an email that appears to be from you. Warning them they might receive malware from you is essential. You can email them again once the situation is dealt with.
  4. Update and Run a Virus Scan.  Update your virus definitions, then run a thorough scan of your computer.  Put the software on auto-update so you don’t find yourself in this situation again. Although it is possible to run a computer without antivirus software, it’s not recommended.
  5. Check Your Settings.  A hacker can set up a forwarding email address which sends email replies to the hacker. If this happens, try to remove it otherwise hackers will continue to receive your emails after you’ve reclaimed your account.
  6. Go Through Secondary Accounts.  If hackers have obtained access to your email address, make sure they haven’t used it to compromise other accounts as well (online banking, shopping, etc.)