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How to Tell If My Email Has Been Hacked

Do you suspect your account has been hacked? Here's how to tell if your email has been compromised and what to do to protect yourself.

Email is one of the leading forms of digital communication and anyone can create a personal account for free. Also, email is the primary form of access used by websites and apps on the internet. Social networks like Facebook and Instagram, shopping sites, and even Google Play, all request email to create logins and register their users. And because of this reason, it’s become so popular among people and also among hackers to target.

Strategy for Hacking Email Accounts

Cases involving hacked email are more common than you might think. Emilio Simoni, security expert at dfndr lab, PSafe’s digital security lab, explains that phishing is the most commonly used practice for hacking an email account. 

“Phishing is fake pages that induce the user to provide sensitive data. In this particular case, if a cybercriminal is interested in stealing accounts from an email provider such as Gmail and Hotmail, he or she will create a fake page identical to the original email provider to trick a victim,” explains Simoni.

Generally, phishing attacks are fake campaigns containing misleading promotional messages aimed at stealing access credentials such as logins and passwords. “To attack, hackers mass-mail these campaigns through email and SMS to reach the largest number of users,” reports Simoni.

Risks to Users

Email is the “gateway” to other services on the internet. So, if one account is hacked, a cybercriminal will be able to change the password of virtually every service logged in to your email. It’s also common for hackers to impersonate a person after gaining access to their email and spreading other cyberattacks through someone’s contact list.

“People often link their mobile phone to an email account and if a hacker gets in, there is full access to a person’s location, photos, and confidential files,” adds Simoni.

How to Tell If Your Email Has Been Hacked

Here are some signs that may indicate that your account has been compromised:

Your Login History
Almost all email providers now have a login history. You can view it and see whether your account is being accessed from an unknown device.

Suspicious Email Logs
Make sure your email spam and inbox contains messages that confirm changes to passwords or logins for websites or apps that you made. 

Check Your Sent Messages
View the log of the last messages sent from your account and check for emails that were not written by you.

Check If Your Credentials Have Been Leaked
You can check if personal data such as email, passwords, or your conversation history has already been exposed on the internet. dfndr security has an Identity Theft feature, which lets you know if your emails or logins were leaked, when it happened, and how it was dispersed. The results are given from a completely thorough search of your email address.

My Email was Hacked, What Now?

Have you noticed strange behavior on your email account? Frank Vieira recommends some actions you should take:

1 – Change your account password immediately.
2 – Disconnect email access to all devices. To do this, go to your account settings and look for Login and/or Security options. Anyone logged in to your email from another mobile phone or computer will be automatically be logged out.
3 – Enable two-factor authentication. This will help you monitor access to your email and provide extra protection for your account.
4 – Download an antivirus on your phone. If your email is linked to your phone, it is essential to check for viruses and malware consistently. dfndr security is able to detect and remove any kind of threat on your phone bu providing real-time protection in messaging apps and browsers. Tap here to download dfndr security.