In today's world, nearly everyone has one or more e-mail accounts. Though this convenient service is great, it also poses a threat to home security. USA Today recently reported that nearly 1.6 million website login credentials and information from 320,000 accounts have been stolen, according to a Chicago-based cybersecurity firm.
Protect your information
Your email may be hacked without you noticing it. One of the first signs of an e-mail hacking is being contacted by friends and family who receive suspicious e-mails. The first step you should take when your email has been compromised is to contact your e-mail service provider and inform them of this security breach. They will ask a series of questions to confirm your identity and once you do so, you'll be able to change your password.
Next, you'll want to inform everyone you know that your email has been hacked into and to keep an eye out for any strange messages from your account. From there, change your security questions and password one more time for security's sake. If you're someone who believes in a universal password, it's time to shift your mentality. Everybody tends to keep to a few unique usernames, which hackers can figure out from your e-mail subscriptions. From there, hackers can use the password in your email to gain access to other personal accounts.
To make sure that the information thieves didn't get into these other accounts, check your bank and credit card accounts for any discrepancies. If you notice any suspicious charges, contact the bank or credit card company to inform them that your email had been hacked into and file fraud claims on the charges.
Additionally, you'll want to run a good antivirus program to make sure your computer hasn't been compromised either. Lastly, you may want to think about going over old emails and deleting any personal information, especially home addresses.
If you're willing to commit to a regimen to optimize your internet security, you could change your password every month. It doesn't need to be drastically different from your previous password. Add a symbol or number, or shift its position around in the word.
Anyone can fall victim to email hacking and it's important to give yourself the most protection against information theft. Maintenance and smart practices will help keep you safe. Remember to remain calm and don't assume the worst, but be ready for it.