How to tell if your Outlook Email has been Hacked, 90% of all hacking activities rely on them. Virtually everyone has an email address, and it’s easy for cybercriminals to find them online. How? You share your email on LinkedIn and use it to log into websites all the time.
How do email breaches even happen?
Hackers can send malicious links and attachments to your email which can install malware that gives them access to your account. Another option is that hackers crack your weak password. Your birthdate is another go-to hack. Sometimes, your outdated security has vulnerabilities hackers can use to breach your account. Other times, the latest movie or game download contained a virus.
Even though Outlook has a spam folder that filters out dubious emails, more sophisticated cybercriminals can still create emails that get past those filters.
How to tell if Outlook Email account has been Hacked?
What are some telltale signs that your Outlook email has been hacked, and what steps should you take if you suspect that your email has been compromised? Stick around to find out.
Indications of a Hacked Outlook Email
There might be signs that your account was hacked, depending on the attack. Hackers could have also leaked a list of email addresses and passwords with your data online.
If someone is trying to reset your email password or login to your account from an unfamiliar device, Outlook will usually alert you.
Here are some questions to help you discover if someone got your Outlook account info:
- Can you log into your account? If you’re unable to log in to your Outlook account, your password has been changed. This is the first and most obvious sign that your account has been breached.
- Are there signs of strange activity?Email security concerns can arise when you least expect them.You might find that some of your emails have been deleted, misplaced, opened, or sent without your knowledge. To discover any unwanted activity on your email, check your Outlook settings for recent activity.
- Does the device on which you use Outlook have a virus? Malware can be easily downloaded after clicking on a link containing a virus, or opening an attachment that downloads a virus to your computer or mobile phone.
- Some malware can collect passwords and allow hackers to access your email.
- Are you reusing your Outlook password? If a hacker gets your account information from one site, they might try to see if you’re using the same password for other websites. If you have, they could then get into your email account. To help protect yourself, use different passwords for different websites.
Check if your Email has been compromised
Even if there are no obvious signs, you can still check if your email has been leaked as part of a breach. If you’re worried about whether your email has been exposed in a data breach, you can check using the site haveibeenpwned.com. The site is run by cybersecurity expert Troy Hunt, and it’s even used by Australian and UK governments to check if their domains have been a part of the most recent breaches.
Once you enter your email address in the search bar on the have i been pwned website, it will tell you how many times your email has been exposed in public breaches. It then cross-checks your email with a list of hacked websites from which the user’s emails have been stolen.
You’ll also find out which breaches have made your email (and/or password) public. Even if your email info has been leaked, it doesn’t mean that cybercriminals will use it right away. A list with your email might appear on the dark web months later.
Discovering this information early reduces the chances of being hacked.
What should you do if you suspect your Email has been Hacked?
To protect your email account and devices:
- Remove malware from your device
- Replace passwords with a stronger one on a regular basis
- Invest in good email security solutions to prevent breaches
Phishing attacks can send malware to your computer via email if you open the email or click on the infected link. Use a reliable antivirus program to scan your computer and clear your devices of malware. If you’re able to, change your password. It can be a pain, but you should change your password every three months anyway.
To ensure that their system is secure from hackers, businesses need additional email security measures. Although Outlook has some built-in security features, they may not be enough. Employee training, email filters, security monitoring, and attachment scanning can help prevent malicious emails from reaching your inbox.