An email account can be compromised in a number of different ways. In some cases, your password may be weak and easily guessed or obtained through a public breach. In other cases, you may have clicked on a malicious link in an email, social networking site or webpage.
We’ve put together potential warning signs that your email account may have been compromised, what you can do to recover and steps you can take to help prevent it from happening again.
Here are some red flags that may indicate your account has been compromised:
- You’re unable to access your email account.
- Your family or friends received an email that you didn’t write.
- You see activity on your social media accounts that you didn’t post.
- Your sent messages folder is empty or includes messages you didn’t send.
Here are some steps you can take if your account is compromised:
- Login to your account and reset your password.
- Sign out of all sessions on all devices.
- Reset any additional accounts the attacker may have gained access to.
- Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your email account.
- Review and change your security questions.
- Review your mailbox for any rules that you have not previously created.
- Review outgoing messages and retract any malicious outgoing messages.
- Contact the people in your email address book and let them know your email was compromised.
- Verify if there is private or personally identifiable information in your email that could be used maliciously.
- Establish a routine where you change your password periodically.
- Scan your computer for viruses and malware.