What should you do if your friends got an email from you that you didn’t send?      

What should you do if your friends got an email from you that you didn’t send?      

If a friend or family member informs you of an email they received from “you”, your account may have been compromised. I’ll tell you what might have happened and give you my advice on the next steps.

Has my email been compromised?

It’s more common than you might think. You might have received a suspicious email from a family member or friend. Or maybe one of your contacts alerts to you to an email they aren’t sure if it was sent.

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Hacker attacking internet

Hacker attacking internet
(iStock)

How to check if your email address is being spoofed or hacked

What does it mean if your email is spoofed or hacked? If your email address is being spoofed it means a hacker has made it appear as if an email to your contacts is coming from you, but it actually isn’t. If your email’s been hacked, someone may have access to your account.

How can you find out which one happened in this case?

Check your “sent” emails. You may have been hacked if you receive unusual emails. If you don’t, hackers may have just spoofed your email address. There is nothing you can do if your email address was spoofed.

How did my email address get in the hands of hackers?

You may have clicked a link in another email accidentally, which could’ve given the sender access to your contacts list. Malware is everywhere. However, your email address may have been accidentally included in an email generator that was created randomly in the hope of hacking someone else.

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Next steps if your email address has been hacked

1. Change your email password

Change your password if your friends get an email from you that you didn't send

If your friends receive an email from you that you haven’t sent, change your password
(CyberGuy.com)

While your account may have been compromised, if you can still access it, be sure to change your password immediately.

2. Turn on 2-Factor authentication

USe 2 factor authentication if your family/friends get an email from you they didn't recognize

Use 2 factor authentication to verify that your family/friends receive an email from you that they didn’t recognize.
(CyberGuy.com)

Make sure you have a backup way to log in to your email. You can add a second email address or phone number to your email settings so that you can quickly take care of your account if it is lost.

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3. Alert your friends and family

Alert family if your email is hacked and they receive an email that you did not send

Notify your family if you receive an email that you have not sent, or if your email has been hacked
(CyberGuy.com)

If you have a Facebook account, it’s good to post a status warning to friends and family that your account has been hacked, and they shouldn’t click any links they receive in messages from you.

You should also send an email letting your contacts know that the “fishy email” didn’t come directly from you. They should be cautious about clicking on any emails you send them in the future.

4. Turn on an Antivirus program so your email doesn’t get hacked again

Turn on antivirus software to prevent email hacking

Anti-virus software should be turned on to prevent email hacking
(CyberGuy.com)

A good Antivirus software will alert and prevent you from clicking any strange links. Your account will be safe before it is hacked. See my top reviews of the Best Antivirus protection for any device at LockUpYourTech.com

5. Secure your email

Use private and secure email address to combat getting your email hacked into

To prevent your email from being hacked, use a private and secure email address
(CyberGuy.com)

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If you’re still worried about your email and hackers potentially accessing your private information, it may be time to switch to a private and secure email server. The top private email providers have been expert-reviewed and rated by CyberGuy.com/Mail.

Kurt Knutsson, a tech journalist and award-winning writer, is passionate about technology and gadgets that make life easier. His contributions to Fox News & FOX Business are broadcast every morning on FOX & Friends. Have a question about tech? CyberGuy.com is where you can get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter.

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