How to recover hacked hotmail account

  • Your email address is probably the most important online identity you have. It’s the username (and password recovery system) for almost all other online accounts, which makes it incredibly valuable to hackers.

    If your Hotmail account does get compromised – which happens to the best of us – here’s the steps you need to take.

    1. Try and regain control of the account
      Your number-one priority needs to be regaining control of your email account. If the hackers haven’t changed your email address, this is pretty straightforward: just go to your inbox once you’ve logged in, then click on your username in the top-right corner.

    From there, go Account Settings > Security and Password, and change your password to something secure – that means long, and involving upper-and-lower case letters, numbers, and even some punctuation for good measure.

    If the hacker has changed your password, you’ll need to go through Microsoft’s password recovery system. That can mean either getting a code sent to a recovery email address or phone number (if you have those on your account), or answering a set of questions about the account, including previous passwords and addresses.

    1. Scan for malware
      There’s a fair chance that your account was compromised through a virus or keylogger on your computer in the first place, so you should run a check. Anti-virus software is free and fairly effective nowadays – Avast is our best pick.

    2. Change any other important passwords
      There’s a decent chance that you use your email password for other accounts – and even if you don’t, they might still be compromised.

    As such, you should take the effort to change the passwords to any other crucial accounts – top of your list should be social media accounts, cloud storage systems like Dropbox, and especially Google or Apple IDs, which can be used to remotely lock devices. Once again, you’ll want to go for a secure password that’s not anything to do with your birthday – or better, take the opportunity to start using a password manager like LastPass.

    1. Check for spam, and apologise if necessary
      Once you’ve secured your email and other accounts from any further harm, it’s time to assess the damage. Email accounts are often hacked to be used for spamming your contact lists; check your sent items for any spam emails you might have sent out, and apologies to recipients if necessary, to try and preserve any shreds of online dignity you might have left.

    2. Set up two-factor authentication
      To prevent these kinds of hacks from happening in the future, the most effective tool at your disposal is two-factor authentication. This is an enhanced sign-in procedure that requires a ‘second authentication factor’ – basically, a second security code – whenever you sign in on a new device. It’s far stronger than a password-only system

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