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hacker The electronic mail has long replaced the snail postal system which is exactly is what it is; snail-like, slow and inefficient. With numerous free email accounts to choose from, emails have made communication faster and cheaper. But a potential problem with email is the dreaded enemies of cyberspace; hackers! Hackers have the ability to access your email account, change your password and lock you out of your personal account. The consequences of this can be very dire in cases of security breach, identity and data theft. It is however possible to retrieve a hacked email account provided you have followed some required steps while setting up the account and depending on your service provider (Yahoo has been found to be prone to hackers). To retrieve, go to your email provider’s homepage e.g., fill in your email address and click on the forgotten password link. This link will help reset or in some cases restore your password after correctly answering some security questions which is why it is important to pay attention to the security questions when setting up accounts. After resetting the password, it is imperative that the password be changed immediately for that email account and every other account you own including all social media accounts. Check sent emails for all correspondence made in your name. Do you know the reason why your account was hacked? It is most likely because you clicked on a link in a spam email which is really a phishing email or you checked your email on a public computer with keylogging software installed or infected with malware. Here are some ways to protect your account from hackers:
  • Avoid downloading files you don’t recognize.
  • Don’t open any email messages you didn’t expect to receive. For example:  email messages with subjects regarding your bank account information and online transactions.
  • Avoid visiting unsafe web sites, with Google Search, warning messages in the search results right below the domain name; “This site may harm your computer.“
  • Keep your system/software updated with the latest security upgrades
  • Update your Antivirus programs and run scans on a routine schedule.

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This article was first published on 30th June 2014

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