Logging into an email account has the potential to be a little frustrating. You might type in your password wrong or forget the password that that account is connected to. Usually you can figure out the right password by trying out passwords that you know you use frequently. Eventually you know that you’ll be able to log in, but what if this doesn’t happen?
What if you’re sure of the password or you’ve exhausted every password that you’ve ever used, and you still aren’t able to login? This might be because someone changed your password without you knowing. Even though this is scary there are few things that you can do to resolve the situation.
Try to Change Your Password
You should try to change your password as soon as you notice that you’re unable to log into your account. All you have to do is go try to log into your account as you usually would but beneath the box for the password, you should see the option to click on “forgot password.” This should take you through the steps to recover your password.
Usually you’d see an abbreviated version of your recovery email and you’ll have to enter the rest of the recovery email to have the link sent. However, this might not work if the person who changed your password has also changed your recovery email and any other email that you may have on your account. If so, you can usually choose to answer your security questions. The person who hacked your account won’t know the answer to your security questions so this is a good thing to try if your recovery email has been changed.
Check your other accounts
it is common for people to reuse passwords for their other accounts. For example although that password that was compromised by belong to your email, you might have this password used on your Instagram account or your Facebook account. If this is the case then you want to make sure that you go into all the other accounts with that password and change it as soon as possible. One thing that you should know is if you feel as if you want to change the password of your other accounts, then you can do that too, even if they didn’t have the same password.
Another thing that you should do is make sure that in your hacked account there were no emails that may have hinted at the passwords for something that you signed up for. For example sometimes when you sign up for a subscription box or an account with your favorite store, they may send you an email with your login information. You can check for this in your hacked email by using the search bar at the top of the screen.
Search the word “passwords.” All of the emails with the word “password” will come up, and you can search through them to see which contained information that may lead to your other accounts being compromised. If you find this information, be sure to go to each account and change the password to something unique. You don’t want to use those passwords again because then this will increase the likelihood of those accounts being hacked.
Using 2 Factor Authentication
if you’ve been hacked recently then two- factor authentication, or 2- step Verification, is something that you might want to turn on. 2- factor authentication will make it so that you need more than just the password to log into your account. Some swarms of 2- factor authentication will send you a text message with a code and you have to enter the code to log in. Other times, it’ll send you a link to an email and if you have access to the email, you can click on the link and it’ll allow you to log in. Sometimes there’s even apps like Google Authenticator that will assist you with this process.
To turn on 2- factor authentication, usually you have to go into your settings and click on the security tab. There should be the option for 2- factor authentication. You know have you enter an email or a number that you want to use for 2- factor authentication. You want to make sure that it’s a number or an email that you always have access to, otherwise you will not be able to get into your account.
This is also a good step to take because if someone is logging into your account with your password, then you’ll receive that request as soon as it happens and you’ll know to change your password immediately. Although this won’t help you if you already been hacked, this will help you in the future to prevent you from ever being hacked ever again.
Look over your email settings
Once you’ve regained access to your account and changed your password security settings, you’ll need to look over the rest of your email settings. First, look at the sent emails to see if some emails have been sent from your account to your contacts list. Then you need to check your signature to see if anything was changed because this is something that would be really embarrassing to notice later after you’ve sent an important email to someone.
You also need to make sure that your auto-responder is turned off so that everyone who sends you emails isn’t getting an out of office notification. It’s also really important to check over the rest of your security settings, like your recovery email. Make sure that everything is the way that it was before your account was hacked so that you can have your email account back to normal.
Let your Contacts know
Although this may be a timely and slightly embarrassing task, this is actually very important, especially if messages were sent from your account. As soon as someone else had access to your account, they also had access to all the emails of your contacts which is a breach of information for them also. If the hackers took note of your contact’s email address or even phone number. If you had that connected, then they might even attempt to send them emails, impersonate you, or trick them into clicking on a link to download malware onto their device. Even though this might not happen, you still want to take the security measure just in case.
You shouldn’t feel bad if this happens. Now that technology is advancing and we have an abundance of accounts, that means that we may be using password based security on a daily basis. If you connect to public networks and this increases your chances of being hacked. If this is the reason that you were hacked, don’t panic. There are many people who choose to use the Wi-Fi in the airport or in Starbucks and this is a very common occurrence. If someone changes the password to your email account, stay calm and make sure that you do a few of the things listed above so that you can have your account reclaimed and back to normal in a timely manner.