Last year, I shared with you The Hacker story that managed to hijack one of our client’s email account and fraudulently transfer money to that hacker’s offshore bank account. Luckily this story ended well for our client.
Unfortunately, I keep hearing more and more stories of email accounts being compromised or highjacked and the consequences can be devastating. Here are some of the risks you may be facing when your email accounts are compromised:
- They can then access your personal, private and business correspondence, as well as confidential discussions and steal your identity.
- They can access all your contacts’ data and contact them pretending it is coming from you. They can then insert malware, spam and phishing attacks.
- They can rather easily reset your passwords that are linked to your financial institutions, such as your banks and investment accounts as well as other online shopping platforms such as Amazon, iTunes or your social media accounts and others. By doing so they will disable your ability to access these accounts.
- They can then transfer funds, order products and create a security nightmare for you.
- They can possibly even open up new credit cards or bank accounts on your behalf.
- They can send embarrassing information to your contacts.
What should you do?
- If you still have access to your email, change your password immediately and report to your email provider.
- Otherwise, immediately contact your email provider and do all you can to regain access to your account and consider closing it.
- Scan your system for viruses and malware.
- Contact your credit bureaus, place a fraud alert on your account and even place a freeze on your social security number.
- Implement a 2 steps login verification or 2 factor authentication when possible.
- Never click on suspicious links even when they arrive from your “trusted” contacts. One of our clients actually received such email from one of their clients and unfortunately clicked on a compromised embedded link. Luckily, we caught that quickly enough to immediately change their password.
- Move your email into a true business class email platform such as MS365.
- Create a strong password and never share your logins with anyone.
You may not have realized this, but your email account is a goldmine of information to a hacker. Guard it as your life depends on it. Because it actually does!
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