Email Hacked. What's Next?

In March 2021, more than 30 thousand US companies were hacked because of Microsoft Exchange servers flaws. Many small-to-medium businesses and local governments utilize this email server software but can't boast of decent cyber security. In the most recent unseen LockFile ransomware attack that was discovered this summer, the number of victims is rising dramatically. Of course, it's better if any business did their best to ensure a proper cyber security system and minimize or avoid cyber threats. However, cybercrime number, scope and sophistication are increasing, and every business and individual should prepare for the possibility of becoming a victim. So, your email has been hacked, what's next?

Email Hacked

How to Understand Your Email Has Been Hacked   

There are several indicators or suspicious activities which tell you something can be wrong with your email:

  • you suffered from a data breach, malware infection, etc.;
  • your secret data (like passwords) was exposed; 
  • you lost a device;
  • you can't log into your email account;
  • your message box contains emails you've never written;
  • there are problems with other accounts connected with your email.

You may also receive suspicions from your friends or other people who are so close that they can understand somebody has taken over your account.

Why Hack Email

Many hackers' victims wonder why cyber criminals hack email accounts belonging to ordinary people. Meanwhile, any hack can give malicious actors some gain. Many ordinary email hacks are held by scammers defrauding people of their money, data, or other belongings, making further recipients take some actions like clicking a compromised link or anything else.

Sophisticated cyber crime schemes can involve hacking millions of emails, but the real target can be not among them. These emails can give hackers tools to manipulate. Their target may be the one they can only reach by impersonating some trustworthy business partner, agency, supply chain specialist, or any other third party.

Email hacks can happen to anybody, no matter how important you think you are as a target to cybercriminals.

Now That You Know Your Email Is Hacked...

If you want to find out what to do when your email was hacked, we'd like to share some steps you need to follow to return your account and regain control over it. The main tasks are to prove your identity and mitigate risks.

First, if you can't log in, reach out to your email provider and prove you're the real owner. The procedure providers use is different, but get ready to supply them with some identity proofs like a photo of you, your ID, and the current date. You may also need to answer about recent email exchanges and more.

If you can still access your account, change your credentials: create a strong password by yourself or utilize reputable password managers; alter security questions; change alternative email(s) and verification mobile phone numbers; ensure you use MFA.

Don't forget to let your contacts know about the accident. Warn them not to click on any links from previous messages or take any actions (e.g., send money, share sensitive data, etc.). It's better to delete those messages.

And the last thing to make sure is that malicious actors won't have a chance to return or, at least, minimize the risks.

How to Protect against Email Hacking

To prevent email hacking or minimize the chances of becoming a target after being hacked, users should do everything possible to fight back. You should adopt effective cyber security practices so that dealing with your email will be difficult and for hackers not worth bothering.

Basic recommendations for businesses are:

  • Update hardware and software regularly and have an accurate hardware and software inventory.
  • Explore and use appropriate up-to-date tools for proper cyber security.
  • Let professionals study your system and offer the best solutions to ensure a robust cyber security level.

Don't forget that MBS Tech is always ready to help boost any business's cyber security performance. Turn to MBS Tech as a highly-experienced managed security service provider (MSSP).

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