Don’t panic. It’ll be alright, I promise. The embarrassing factor here is we’re always the last to know, right? By the time we find out our email has been compromised, our entire contact list has been thoroughly confused. And who can blame them – for the past two days we’ve been emailing them bad grammar & creepy, questionable links from a Nigerian “prince”.
That’s actually best case scenario.
Hackers can also lock you out of your own email. They can erase your contacts. Furthermore, a lot of us have personal information within our email archives; social security numbers, credit card numbers, etc.
There are some good preventative measures to make it difficult for hackers to steal your account. If your email account was recently hacked, here are some action items we recommend doing:
Change your email password
- Make a strong password with capital letters, numbers, and characters. Make it a crazy and random combo. Something like “xXBaBydollsAreCoolXx”….this isn’t my brother’s password by the way…it’s just…an example…heh.
Set up 2-step verification to the login process
- Available through Gmail, you can add an extra layer of security to your email account. Hackers would not only need your username & password, they’d need to have your phone. When you sign into your account, Google will text you a verification code that you’ll be asked to enter in addition to your password.
Check your other accounts
- If you have numerous accounts with the same password, a safe bet would be to check them and change those passwords as well.
Delete your old accounts
- Inactive accounts have a higher risk of being hacked. If you have old email accounts floating around, deleting them could keep your risk meter lower.
Send in an apology
- A mass email apologizing for your latest spamming stunt wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. Although, I’m sure they loved your charming email about Mrs. Thelma Chukwuka and her husband, Obinna’s Nigeria bank account. So many Nigerian bank accounts, so little time.