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What to Do if Your Email is Hacked

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

If you've received an email from someone claiming to have hacked your account, don't panic. It's important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your data.

You can't always tell if you were hacked immediately. Some hackers may send corrupted emails to your contacts without leaving a trail. Other times, filter settings might catch suspicious messages and automatically place them in “Spam” or “Trash,” so you never even see them.

Luckily, there are a few signs to watch out for if you suspect someone has hacked your account:

  • You receive strange or unsolicited emails from someone with your own name or a third-party name. Look for blurred images, poor grammar, and strange email addresses.

  • People you know tell you they've received unusual emails from you. They’ll likely delete them immediately, so don’t be surprised if no one has any to show you.

  • Your password stops working out of nowhere. One day, you just can’t log into your account anymore.

  • You see unexpected activity on your account, such as new contacts or messages you didn't write.

If all signs point to hacking, keep calm. Hacking is a hassle, but it’s nothing you can’t resolve in a few steps. Steps to Follow After You’ve Been Hacked.

1. Change your password.

If you think someone’s hacked your email, the first thing you should do is change your password. It might seem obvious, but it's an effective way to stop the hacker from further accessing your account.

2. Set up two-factor authentication.

After you've changed your password, we recommend enabling two-factor authentication (if it's not already enabled). Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring you to enter a code from a second device when you sign in. If you're unsure how to change your password or enable two-factor authentication, contact your email provider for help.

3. Keep your software up to date.

Another way to protect yourself from hackers is to ensure that your software is always up to date. This includes your operating system, web browser, antivirus software, and any other programs you use. Outdated software can have security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to gain access to your account. Keeping your software up to date can help close these security holes and make it harder for hackers to get into your account.

4. Email your contacts.

Once you've changed your password and enabled two-factor authentication, email your contacts, letting them know someone hacked your account. They’ll know to be cautious of any emails they received from you. Doing this as soon as possible ensures they remain on high alert and protect them from future attacks. Sample

Sample Letters for Hacked Email

Messages in this situation serve two purposes: to inform people of what happened and to provide directions on how to protect themselves. Being brief and apologetic will allow them to quickly turn their attention to the necessary steps, such as remaining vigilant.

Click on the link below for a list of sample messages that you can send if you find yourself in this situation -

Source: HubSpot

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