If your Gmail account has been hacked, there are some important steps you should take to recover your account.
Signs of a hacked Gmail account:
- Your Gmail password has been suddenly changed.
- Emails have been sent from your account that you didn’t actually write.
First steps to take if your Gmail account is hacked:
- Change your password!
If you cannot log in to Gmail because your password has been changed you need to click “Can’t access your account?” below the login box on the Gmail homepage:
You will then need to go through the steps of recovering your Gmail password. There are multiple options that you can choose from to recover your password:
- Sending a text message to your mobile phone (only if you added your number in your Google profile).
- Answering security questions that were created when the account was registered.
- Sending an email to another email account that had been linked in your Gmail settings.
How can you verify that your Gmail account has actually been hacked?
- Once you’ve logged in to your hacked Gmail account, click on the link at the very bottom right of your Gmail account that says “Last account activity:“.
A report will be displayed showing you the IP addresses and locations of the most recent activity on your Gmail account. You may want to copy and paste the IP address and do a WhoIs Lookup to find out who the owner was.
Make sure you click the “Sign out all other sessions” button at the top of page. The report will look similar to this:
Steps should you take to protect your identity and other accounts after recovering your Gmail account:
- Check your “Sent Mail” folder to see what emails the hacker(s) sent your contacts.
- Even if there are no unauthorized emails in the sent mail folder, you should send an email to all of your contacts letting them know that you account was hacked and that they should ignore any fishy emails from your account.
- If your old Gmail password is associated with another other email, bank or online account, change it now!
- Make sure the hacker didn’t start forwarding your emails to an unauthorized account:
- Click on the gear icon at the right side of your account and then click “Settings“.
- Click on the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
- Make sure there are no email address other than your own listed. You can even click the “Disable forwarding” radio dial just to be sure.
- Audit the most sensitive information that was accessible from emails in your hacked Gmail account and take the proper steps to make that monitor your credit cards and financial holdings.
I hope this helps everyone. If anything comes up during the process, feel free to leave questions in the comments section below.
The slideshow I’ve embedded below was provided by Backupify and serves as some great supportive material for recovering your hacked Gmail account if you’re interested in more details: