Your Email Could Be Easy to Hack!

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email hacked

Email Hacked?

If it hasn’t happened to you, it has probably happened to somebody you know. There are several steps you can take to ensure that your email is not hacked and your valuable information is not shared with thieves.

If you have been email hacked, then there are several several steps to take. According to Suzanne Kantra, article writer for Techlicious, hackers are savvy and they have programs that can run through weak passwords at an extremely fast rate.

Suzanne offers important advice we should all be following …

“The very first thing you want to do is keep the hacker from getting back into your email account. So change your password, and be sure to use a strong password that is not related to your prior password. I.e., if your last password was ‘billyjoe1’, don’t pick ‘billyjoe2’. And if your name is BillyJoe, you shouldn’t have been using your name in your password in the first place.”

By Suzanne Kantra

Steps to Take If You Suspect You Were Email Hacked

Suzanne recommends following these steps if you suspect your e-mail was hacked.

1)   The first thing you should do is change the password on your email account and make sure the new password is very strong. Most sites have a meter that will tell you the strength of your new password as you enter it.

2)   While you are in your email profile changing your password, check your email settings to make sure the hackers did not change any of your settings. Specifically, check to make sure your incoming or outgoing emails are not being forwarded anyplace that you did not set up.

3)   Also, check your automatic signature to ensure that it has not been set up to give your email recipients spammy information.

When you have completed these steps, Suzanne recommends that you check your computer for malware. Whether or not you have malware software on your computer, she recommends using Malwarebytes. This is free malware software that you can access online. According to Suzanne, this is one of the best malware detection programs available.

Scan the Computers Used to Access the Email Account

It is also recommended that you scan any other computers that you log into your email from. Also, scan any computers that you use to remote into your primary computer. If the anti-malware software picks up anything, clean it and then change your password again. This is necessary because the malware might have submitted your new password information to the hacker.

Remember, if your email was hacked there is a good chance that the hacker had the opportunity to obtain other valuable information that was stored on your computer.

Check all of your online accounts that use the same password as your email password. If you keep a list of account log in information and passwords anyplace online or on your computer, check each of these sites to be sure nothing was compromised.

Use a Different Password for Each Account

The biggest worry and threat is that the hacker obtained your financial and identification information.

Be sure to check your bank and credit cards. It also might be a good idea to have your credit report run over the next several months to make sure nothing strange comes up or that your identity wasn’t stolen.

It is imperative to use different strong passwords for each online log in you own to maintain security. This can feel overwhelming and difficult to track, but there are free password security programs available to help you keep track of everything.

Contact Your Contacts to Inform Them That You Were Hacked

Most of your friends probably figured out that you were hacked when they received a strange spammy email from you pointing them to some bizarre website in Indonesia. In fact, one of these friends probably contacted you to let you know that you were hacked.

However, you may have some friends that do not grasp what is going on. Thus, it is important to contact all of your contacts to warn them that you were hacked and to ask them to delete any email recently received from you without opening them. It is also a good idea for them to go through the steps listed above to make sure they were not hacked as well.

Protecting Yourself In The Future

There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from being hacked in the future. Be sure to use and maintain strong passwords.

Use a unique password for each site you log in to. It is also a good idea to change your passwords often. Some internet security teams recommend changing passwords as frequently as once per month.

Others recommend a minimum of every six months. If you have given your password to a friend or family member to use your computer or email for something, it is important to change it after they have used it.

To maintain security even further, it is a better idea for you to log in for them and let them do what they need to do, then have them log out. This way, your password is never given out and never compromised.

It is also important to beware of using any type of public computer or unprotected wifi connection. Often times, public computers, such as those found in internet cafes, schools, libraries, and hotels are not secured at all.

Don’t Get Email Hacked …

Public computers are not safe …

Hackers can easily place software on these computers that allows them to track information that is being entered onto the computer. Thus, if you are at school and use a school computer to check your bank account, a hacker could easily get your account and password information for your bank account and have access to your money.

Only use these computers if it does not require you to log in to any of your online accounts to do so. These computers are useful for looking up public information or researching something, but nothing more. The same can be said for unsecured wifi. Beware of what you access and of what is being shared over the network. These public connections can allow others to access your information without you even being aware it is happening.

The bottom line is to be sure you are using safe surfing and account practices to protect yourself and your contacts.

There is nothing worse than having valuable information stolen. Remember, just like any other thieves, hackers are professional thieves and they support themselves by stealing information, money and identities. Don’t make yourself a victim because you think it cannot happen to you!

Have you ever been email hacked? How did it feel and what did you do about it? Leave a comment below and let other people know how serious it can be …

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Leave a Comment

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Roseanne

    Great to access your thoughts on how to be a successful entrepreneur. Re-discovered you via a You Tube video. The generous IM marketing tools and videos you share so freely are a great find. You are the “real deal”. Best in all you do Chris C.
    cheers
    RvL

    Reply

  2. drake

    thanks for that

    Reply

  3. Exxcel Model Talent Agency

    This is useful, however it is difficult to change passwords regularly and also keep different passwords for different accounts. I used to have an Excel sheet but even that can be hacked into.
    I will check the free password security program mentioned by you above.

    Reply

  4. Chris Carpenter

    Two other really good programs are:
    1password (for macs)
    roboform (for PCs)

    Reply

  5. Victor

    I Have never been hacked but it is about time to take care of it. Thanks for the very interesting information Chris.

    Reply

  6. Everardo

    Hello Chris, my two cents, I never have shared this before with anyone. Security!?!
    Well, the 100% security doesn’t exist, neither online nor offline.
    Hoping that nothing bad happens isn’t an option.
    Knowing what are the dangers on the environment one is at (online or offline) is already a big plus, then everyone can take risk minimizing measures.
    Online related risk are many, but so are the preventions that can be taken.
    Having an anti-virus is not helpful if it is not properly configure, full scans of the system are better than “quick scans,” daily updates are better than once a week, if you are often online and your anti-virus offers an hourly update is even better. The system performance will be reduced, but for me security goes first.

    Password related security. I develop a system a few years ago.
    I was working for a large company we had a password admin software that forced everyone to change the password every 30 days for each program or application used, it stored the last 32 password used on each program or application, so that every time you had to create a new password because we couldn’t used the passwords save in the system for each program or application.
    I came up with the following system:
    For each program or application I had to access, I’ll divide the password in four blocks, I’ll open a notepad and write each block under the other.
    Each block will be between two to six characters long, between the blocks there would be letters or numbers that I memorized. I used to save the notepad file with the blocks to a floppy disk, but now I use an USB-Stick it is much easier to use, and floppy disk have disappeared.
    Why do I use such a complicated system? Well I commonly used “internet banking” Paypal, etc. and I am frequently on the road. I have no idea if the next available WiFi HotSpot (Hotel, Internet Cybercafé, etc) have a Keylogger software installed, this software will register every key pressed on the keyboard, and I don’t want to give my bank account data away!
    So this is the way it works:
    I will copy past each of the four blocks from my notepad file on the USB-Stick to the form where I have to write the password, between each block I will write using the keyboard, if there is a Keylogger software installed, it will register every keyboard strokes, it will also register the copy – paste function, but it will not be able to read or decode what I am coping and pasting.
    This way I have managed to stay on the safe side.
    If there is a form that doesn’t support copy paste on the password field, then I avoid using it, or if I have to use it, then only on safe places or at home.
    Happy holidays to you and your family and a wonderful year 2012
    Everardo

    Reply

  7. Chris Carpenter

    Thanks for the great tips Everardo! Does sound a little complicated though. Lately for password protection I’ve been using 1Password for my mac, and Roboform for PCs.

    Reply

  8. Marvin

    Thanks for the valuable information. Have a Merry Christmas..

    Reply

  9. blessing

    I’ve been accessing my email account in an internet cafe coz i have no choice.Maybe i will start changing my password monthly.perhaps,that will help

    Reply

  10. Patty Nevers

    I have not been aware of any hackers in my e-mail. I have had my checking acct. robbed by a jewelry Company on line. I noticed when I checked my statements

    Reply

  11. Celeste

    Yup, it’s happened to me very recently. I did change my password and made it stronger, but didn’t check for malware beyond normal anti-virus scanning. Thanks for the informative post!

    Reply

  12. Trisha B

    After reading this post,I am going to change my password very often.Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  13. Michael Scott Andrews

    I would not call this a hack but a small oversight on my behalf…
    I inadvertently left my gmail open on a girlfriends computer.
    What she didn`t know was that she was not the only girl I was
    involved with. And I never checked to see in gmail any other locations or IP`s it was being accessed. Of course she started reading other emails from other girls and quickly changed my password…I know you are asking..”how could that be, because google has you set up a second recovery email for security reasons”? well…I had forwarded a copy of my other email credentials and buried them in a file on gmail…she found it, changed my gmail password and recovered it from yahoo mail, then changed my yahoo password that was tied back to my gmail….
    I call this my email fail…if you are in gmail, always check to see where and if gmail is open on another machine…check the IP, if it yours then you are ok…if it`s one you do not recognize, close out all open connections immediately.
    Moral of the story….Girls can be evil….but I still love `em

    Reply

  14. Chris Carpenter

    ha ha, thanks for sharing your story. I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you ;-)

    Reply

  15. Tyne Caouette

    Thanks I’m changing mine now.

    Reply

  16. TC

    Valuable stuff here Chris ! Keep it coming and I’ll keep absorbing!

    Reply

  17. Mike

    Great article. I was hacked 2 months ago and it sucked.

    Reply

  18. Golda roach

    Tku for the info very help ful we are in a little town witch doesn’t have much service in California for we live in Mississippi so missed some things hope u have a very merry Christmas

    Reply

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