NetSafe

Help! My email account has been hacked

7 Comments »

Webmail email account hacked

Over the last year we have been getting more and more reports from people whose Hotmail/Yahoo!/Gmail email account has been hacked or hijacked.

In many cases the account has been used to send spam or phishing emails to random addresses or to your own Contacts list stored in the webmail system.

The hackers may have gone as far asking your friends and family to send money via Western Union money transfer to help you get home from a mystery holiday in the UK.

Sometimes users can get access with their own password; other times they need to go through a lengthy recovery process to get back their email account.

How to recover your webmail account:

Most major email providers have online forms you need to fill out to progress through to recover your account:

If you rely on your email we would advise you to take steps to secure your account by linking it with a mobile phone number or alternative email address.

You can also chose to only login over a secured connection, that uses an https:// web address (look for a padlock icon)

Remember to use information for your secret/reminder questions that you do not publish online on your Facebook profile or other sites

Prevention is better than cure

Most accounts are hacked for one of three reasons:

  1. You did not secure your account with a strong password and a ‘dictionary attack’ allowed the hackers quick access
  2. Your computer or another computer you used to access your emails was infected with malware or a virus or
  3. You fell victim to a ‘phishing’ email that exposed your login details to cybercriminals

Follow the NetBasics and keep your computer secure

Watch our short online videos about basic computer security. They explain how to keep your PC protected against viruses, how to pick a strong password for every different website you use and how to avoid phishing emails.

7 Comments

  1. Max Becker says:

    Is “netlog” a virus?
    It appears to be a “social networking” net but I cannot find any way of removal from their database. I became involved via an e-mail from a friend who now tells me that his contact list was uplifted and as a consequence I received an e-mail apparently from him.

  2. Amanda Li says:

    My email address is @hotmail.com. A few days ago my email account was blocked somehow. This might be the reason that I forwarded large volume of funny stuff onto my friends. Would you please help me to recover this email account?
    If there is any further information you need, i will be available at @yahoo.com.au.
    I like to use Hotmail because it is so good and so convenient. I like it so much.
    If I done some thing wrang, forgive me, Please!

    Thanks very much.
    Amanda Li.

  3. Louise says:

    my gmail account has recently been hacked by someone trying to make my life very miserable. I cant get back in it as they have changed the password details. what rights do i have, im ready to see a lawyer over the whole thing. it there a company that can track this for me.

    • Chris Hails says:

      Hi Louise, this happens many times a day judging by the number of reports to NetSafe, that doesn’t of course make the loss of access to your account any less serious or upsetting for you.

      In terms of rights, you’d need to review the Google stated terms of service when you signed up for Gmail and investigate options around loss of your service. In theory Google may be able to identify the IP address of the person who has taken over your account but you’d need to make a complaint to the police to escalate this to get Google to release that kind of detail.

      In New Zealand, given the frequency of these reports and the fact the service would most likely be hosted in the US the police here would not have the resources to investigate or escalate the ‘hack’ to US authorities – many cases that involve high profile losses can take many months to progress when international jurisdictions are involved.

      I trust you can use the Google tools to restore access and ownership of your account.

  4. Merepaea says:

    Hotmail sucks\. they dont even help you to recover your email. they just send an automated email aqnd now ive lostsome importanat stuff on this email account through no fault of my own. They should do b etter

Leave a Comment