Email Security – How to Protect your Email and what to do if it gets Hacked

Most people don’t even know that their email has been hacked until they can’t log into their account or can’t get their messages on their smart phone. Many get an email from friends and family asking if it was actually their idea to send them an email about penis enlargement products, much to their chagrin.

As much a social media has grown over the last few years, most people still rely on email for business as well as personal interactions and, if access to our email is blocked, it can cause all sorts of problems. Today’s blog will give you some excellent information and advice about how to protect your email and, if it does get hacked, how to get it back with the least amount of hassle. Enjoy.

  • Quickly change your Password. Many times hackers will actually forget to change your password and, if you can still log in, you should change it immediately to something stronger and less identifiable. Don’t use birthdays, pet names, your children’s names, maiden names, your favorite movie or band names or anything else that might identify you and might be available on your Facebook page.
  • Let your email provider know right away. They’ve seen this type of thing before and may be able to help you with recovery tools to get you back up and emailing again.
  • Try and recapture your email account. Most email providers have a help center that will give you directions on how to unblock your email and, once you do, immediately change your password (as we suggested above) as well as any “security questions” that you might have filled out when you started the email account. Try and be as creative with your security question “answers” so that they won’t be able to hack them again.
  • Let your friends, family and colleagues know. Send out an email to everyone on your list and let them know that your email was compromised and that they should be suspicious of any communication that “you” might send. (If they have already been hacked as well, send them THIS article.)
  • Review your Personal Settings and change them if necessary. Hackers can actually create forwarding email addresses as well as hide malicious links in your “signature” and so both need to be checked and, if necessary, changed.
  • Use whatever antivirus program that you have to scan your computer. Most hackers aren’t hacking into your email just to send out spam to your contact list. What they really want is to be able to take over your computer and try to “monetize” it in some way. Using your antivirus program will hopefully identify and “clean” any malware, Trojan horse viruses or anything else that they deposited on your computer.
  • Make sure to change your passwords and security questions on ALL your online sites. Many people make the mistake of using the same password on multiple sites and, if a hacker has already figured out that password for your email, you can bet they’ll try it for other sites as well, including financial sites.
  • Check your email “sent” and “saved” folders. When you send or receive emails your email program usually keeps a record of those in a different folder. If you have sent or received personally identifiable information you will definitely want to go back and check those folders to make sure that it’s deleted.
  • Monitor your email, your credit reports and any other accounts that might have been made accessible by hackers. If they were able to get your Social Security Number or any other valuable personal ID information, they could easily drain your savings and checking account as well as other online accounts. Monitoring these accounts is vital to make sure that they aren’t hacking into other accounts and robbing you blind.

At the end of the day one of the most important components of your identity portfolio is your email and you really need to manage it like you would manage any other type of important information. Minimizing your risk and your exposure by using difficult passwords, monitoring and changing them often and using spam filters is vital. Knowing what your damage control options are is also important before some SOB tries to hack into your life.