One of the most common cyber security issues faced by both businesses and private users is a hacked email account. Security software is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and yet it’s still possible for malicious users to gain access or control. Learn how to spot a phishing email to protect yourself, as prevention is better than cure. If the worst does happen then you need to take the following four steps as quickly as possible.
- Change Your Passwords
If a hacker has been able to hack into your email account, they might have been able to infiltrate your other accounts. This is particularly likely if you happen to have used the same password across multiple accounts, but it can happen even if you have a separate password for each one. Hackers can change those passwords by getting a ‘forgot login information’ email sent to you, or they can snoop through your messages for personal information or hyperlinks that go straight to other accounts.
- Alert Your Contacts
Accounts are often hacked so cybercriminals can send out their own emails from your address. They know your contacts will be more likely to open spam or malicious programs if they come from you. That can be embarrassing from a personal account, and it can be seriously damaging from a business account. The best thing you can do is send out an email to all contacts letting them know what has happened.
- Run a Full Virus Scan
A hacker may have infected your system with a virus through your email account, and this may not be apparent right away. Update your virus scanner, and then disconnect from the internet and run a full scan. If you don’t have anti-virus software, you should be able to download some online.
- Contact Your Email Provider
Your email provider can only get better at preventing attacks if they know how those attacks are being made, so alert them to the situation as soon as possible. This will help prevent future problems. Additionally, your email provider will almost certainly have seen the attack before, meaning they will be able to point you towards the best tools available to work against it.