What to Do If Your Email Has Been Compromised: A Comprehensive Guide


Email has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. However, email accounts are vulnerable to hacking attempts, and if your email has been compromised, it’s crucial to take immediate action to safeguard your privacy and security. This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on what to do if your email has been compromised, helping you regain control and protect yourself from further damage.

  1. Recognizing the Signs of a Compromised Email Account:
    • Unusual login activity or unauthorized access
    • Suspicious emails being sent from your account
    • Changes in account settings or email forwarding rules
    • Reports from contacts about receiving spam or phishing emails from your address
  2. Act Quickly:
    • Change your password: Create a strong, unique password and avoid reusing passwords from other accounts.
    • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): Add an extra layer of security by requiring a second verification step, such as a unique code sent to your phone.
    • Log out from all devices: Use the “Sign out of all sessions” feature to terminate any unauthorized access.
  3. Notify Your Contacts:
    • Inform your contacts about the breach and advise them to be cautious of any suspicious emails coming from your account.
    • Advise them not to click on any suspicious links or provide personal information in response to emails from your compromised account.
  4. Scan Your Device for Malware:
    • Run a full system scan using reputable antivirus or anti-malware software to detect and remove any potential threats that might have caused the compromise.
    • Update your security software regularly to stay protected against the latest threats.
  5. Check Other Accounts:
    • If you use the same password for multiple accounts, change the passwords for those accounts as well.
    • Enable 2FA whenever possible to add an extra layer of protection to your other accounts.
  6. Review and Secure Your Email Settings:
    • Check email forwarding rules and disable any suspicious or unfamiliar rules.
    • Review your email signature, autoresponders, and any other settings that may have been modified by the attacker.
  7. Be Wary of Phishing Attempts:
    • Be cautious of emails asking for personal information or directing you to click on suspicious links.
    • Verify the legitimacy of any email before providing sensitive information.
  8. Monitor Your Account:
    • Regularly review your account activity and keep an eye out for any unusual or unauthorized access.
    • Set up email alerts for suspicious activities, password changes, or login attempts.
  9. Report the Incident:
    • Contact your email service provider to report the compromise and seek further assistance.
    • Consider reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities, such as your local law enforcement or cybercrime reporting agencies.


Discovering that your email has been compromised can be unsettling, but by taking immediate action and following the steps outlined in this article, you can regain control of your account and protect yourself from further harm. Remember, maintaining strong security practices, such as using unique and complex passwords, enabling 2FA, and being vigilant against phishing attempts, can significantly reduce the risk of future email compromises. Stay proactive and stay safe in the digital world.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. It is always advisable to consult with a professional or the email service provider for specific advice tailored to your situation.