So Your Gmail Was Hacked? Protect Yourself Against It Happening Again
Imagine the following scenario: you wake up in the morning, pour your cup of joe, walk to your desk and sit down to check your emails. At first you don’t notice it but soon enough it becomes pretty clear: your Gmail account was hacked.
Someone sent emails to all your contacts, including your ex and grandmother. Unfortunately, these aren’t just regular emails, these are spam and phishing scams. Imagine how guilty and embarrassed you would feel if this had happened to you.
The unfortunate truth is that this is a rather common scenario and happens to Gmail users every day. Particularly, for those that don’t have the level of identity protection we offer at LogDog.
Was Your Gmail Hacked? These Should Be Your First Steps
If your Gmail was hacked and you didn’t have LogDog by your side, these are the steps you should immediately take to get your account under control:
- Recover your account: Google offers several tools to help you reclaim your account and regain access if you’ve been locked out.
- If you still have access to your account, you should use Google’s security checkup to review your account security and implement some added security features.
- If you can’t login or your password was changed against your will, you’ll need to go through Google’s account recovery prompts. If you have a recovery email setup or a mobile phone linked to your account, you can use those to receive a verification code. If not, you’ll have to answer some of the following security questions to get your account back:
- What was the last password that you remember?
- When was the last time you were able to sign in to your Gmail account?
- When did you create your Gmail account?
- What was the answer to your security question?
We know that some of these questions are hard to answer, but try and do so as accurately as possible because the strength of your answers will determine if you recover access to your account or not.
- Change your password ASAP: After you are able to log back in, you should change your password as quickly as possible. Do so by going to the Sign-in & security section of your Google account. Navigate to Signing into Google and select Password.
When you’re selecting a new password, you need to make sure it is as secure as possible. Use the longest phrase you can remember and incorporate a unique combination of capitals, lower-case letters, symbols and numbers.
Once you have decided on a new password, click Change Password.
Trust us, if your Gmail was hacked in the past, this step is one of the most important in preventing it from happening again.
- Check for suspicious activity: Check your most recent account activity by opening Gmail, and clicking on the Details link in the bottom right hand corner of the page. You will be given a list of activity on your account. Check every session and make sure you’re the only one using the account. If not, click Sign out all other web sessions.
Similarly, you should check your outgoing email messages and your contacts to make sure no action was taken without your consent. If your Gmail was hacked, there’s a chance the hackers used the account to spam your contacts.
- Check your other accounts: Go through every account you own and change your password. Once the hacker has your Gmail account password, you never know what other information they might have. If you tend to reuse passwords (and we all do!), then it is likely that your other accounts are exposed to the hackers as well.
LogDog to the Rescue!
If you’re one of the lucky ones and you thought ahead, then LogDog has got your back and won’t let hackers pull any tricks on your account. Our detective tool constantly monitors your accounts and provides you with a fraud alert by notifying you of any suspicious activity in your accounts.
But that doesn’t mean you can stick your head in the sand and start ignoring your online security. Here are some steps to keep your Gmail account safe:
- Enable two-step verification. This system sends you an SMS anytime someone is trying to log into your account. It prevents anyone from signing in that doesn’t have access to your mobile phone, adding a layer of security to your account. In order to set up two-step verification, log in to your account and follow Google’s steps here.
- NEVER share account information with anyone! Even those you trust.
- Always think twice before giving up any personal information, especially via email. Scammers are getting more sophisticated; stay on your toes so you can identify them before they target you.
Remember, luckily LogDog (and our iOS and Android apps) offers you a level of protection you won’t get anywhere else. We got you covered so that the worst case scenario won’t become a reality.