There are some classic signs that your email has been hacked, but many won’t be apparent to you until someone gets in touch to point them out. Oftentimes, a hacker will use your account to send spam emails or phishing messages to your contact list. The only way you might notice an email data security breach is by checking your sent history or if a friend reaches out to ask you about an email they received from your account.
Consequences of a Hacked Email
Apart from seeming annoying to your friends, a hacked email poses serious consequences for you and your contacts list. First up is spreading viruses. If a vulnerable contact of yours clicks a suspicious link in an email from your hacked account, they’re likely to be exposing their own account to hackers. The second consequence can affect you directly: identity theft. With access to your email account comes access to incredibly sensitive information including your address, bank account information, and sometimes even your passport or social security numbers. Hackers can use this information to pose as you online or sell it to the highest bidder to use for criminal activity.
I’ve Been Hacked. What’s Next?
There are a few things you should do immediately when you find out your email has been breached:
- Change your password to stop the hackers from accessing your account and change that password on any other accounts you use it to log in to (online banking, social media, etc.).
- Ensure all your email contacts know that you’ve been hacked. This may prevent them from suffering a similar fate at the hands of your hacker by clicking a corrupt link in an email from your account.
- Double check your account settings. Your hacker may have changed things like your security question and privacy settings, which could leave your account vulnerable to further intrusion.
- Scan your machine for viruses and malware. The hacker may have infected your computer while infiltrating your email and removing the virus as quickly as possible will ensure your data stays secure.
- Consider creating a new email address and delete your old account. This is the only way you can be sure the hacker no longer has access to your data.
What Can I Do to Prevent a Breach?
First thing’s first, do not open any emails or click any links from suspicious or unidentified contacts. It’s an obvious one, but a precaution that people often forget. If you work in an IT department, be sure you send around safety alert emails about the risks of phishing for business mail accounts.
Second, only connect to secure networks. Avoiding unsecured, public networks lessens the risk of unwanted eyes on your data, that can easily creep your email account login credentials.
In case a professional email is breached, having easy-to-recover backups is key to avoiding downtime for your business. StorageCraft is a pro at securing your data. With a variety of products built to keep your data safe, we have a recovery solution for every business. Contact us today to learn more or request a free demo.