Recently I got a email from a long time friend and blogger which startled me, the first thing I thought was to spam it, but then I realized instead of doing that, I should just send him a email saying, please stop sending me such emails.
I did send him a email, and he immediately pinged me on IM saying that his Gmail account was hacked. You can take a look at the email that got sent out from his account to all his contacts in the screenshot below. Click to enlarge.
The problem is that my friend’s account got hacked and he had no clue about it, until I replied back to him, asking him to stop sending such emails to me. Though it was unfortunate, there are several ways in which you can keep a check on your Gmail account to see if you are hacked.
How to Find If Your Gmail Account is Hacked?
Monitoring Sent Mail and Trash Folders
Spammers or hackers use hacked accounts to send out emails to your contact list to either talk about the spam sites like in the above email, or tell people that you are in distress and need some money etc crap.
The first traces of such mails can be seen in the Sent Mail folder or Trash, always keep a eye there to see any suspicious emails, that you do not recollect sending out. Also check the Trash folders since spammers, may delete the email from the Sent Email folder.
Monitoring Gmail Activity Monitor
Gmail has made available a new feature some time back which allows you to track, from where your Gmail account is being accessed, this can come in pretty handy since you will be able to easily spot the intruders who have logged into your account and take immediate action of logging them off.
As you can see from the screenshot, you can easily view from where your Gmail account is being accessed, and also control them by singing out of all the sessions.
What Steps Do You Take If Your Gmail Account Is Hacked?
The first thing you should so is to change your password to a stronger one, we have a small trick you can use to create stronger passwords that cannot be easily hacked. Using dictionary words for your passwords is a big no no, many people also use their own names, birthdays, phone numbers etc for their password. This makes them highly susceptible to being hacked.
Another good practice is to continuously change your passwords every couple of weeks, though it may sound cumbersome, it definitely is a very good practice considering the problems you will have to face, if your account gets hacked.
It is really unfortunate to know that someone’s email account gets hacked, I for one dread it and always keep a watch on the sent items and activity monitor on a regular basis along with changing the passwords periodically. But not always does a hacked account send out spam emails, there could be some serious threats where hackers are only farming the account to get critical information from your emails.
So the next time you see a spam email from one of your contacts, go ahead and tell him about it and point him to this post, chances are that he has been hacked and needs to read this to get his act together. Do share this with your friends.