Protecting Email Accounts from being Hacked
If your personal account has been compromised or hacked, there are ways to regain control.
How do I know if my email or social network account has been hacked?
- There are posts you never made on your social network page. These posts often encourage your friends to click on a link or download an App.
- A friend, family member or colleague reports getting email from you that you never sent.
- If you were notified that your information was lost via a data breach, malware infection or lost/stolen device, there is a chance that your account could get hacked.
If you believe an account has been compromised, take the following steps:
- Notify all of your contacts that they may receive spam messages that appear to come from your account. Tell your contacts they shouldn’t open messages or click on any links from your account and warn them about the potential for malware.
- If you believe your computer is infected, be sure your security software is up to date and scan your system for malware. You can also use other scanners and removal tools.
- Change passwords to all accounts that have been compromised and other key accounts ASAP. Remember, passwords should be long and strong and use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, and numbers and symbols. You should have a unique password for each account and consider using two factor authentication wherever possible.
Passwords aren't as secure as they used to be, and if someone gets your password, they can access your account easily. Even having a strong password doesn't completely protect you. Two-factor authentication solves this problem. Two factor authentication is a simple feature that asks for more than just your password. It requires both "something you know" (like a password) and "something you have" (like your phone or computer). After you enter your password, you'll get a second code sent to you, and only after you enter it will you get into your account. Unfortunately, you can't use two-factor authentication everywhere on the web just yet. But a lot of sites have recently implemented it.
If you cannot access your account because a password has been changed, contact the support team of the company that owns the web site and follow any steps they have for recovering an account.
PROTECT YOURSELF with these STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Tips:
- Keep a clean machine: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
- Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
- Unique account, unique password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.
This information is brought to you courtesy of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker-dealer and registered investment advisor. CRN-1042456-102214