I never thought that it could happened to me but it did, my Google email (Gmail) account was hacked big time. The frightful day happened on April 6, 2011. I was first bombarded with calls and text messages from people that I know. They took the time to let me know that my email might have been hacked that day, before I even knew about it. I also received messages through my Facebook and Twitter community letting me know about the situation but at the same time some messages of concern.
Apparently, the hacker who got into my account sent out a scam message to all of my contacts that I was in Spain doing research and I got robbed and needed them to send me money overseas to get back home, the typical Nigeria scam right? Well, in this instance they used my identity, the signature that I use with my emails hence some of my online colleagues were abit worried that it might have happened. I quickly let everybody know through all of my social networks that I was ok and safe at home but the damaged has been done. A part of my online presence, something that I worked hard at establishing, was taken from me and manipulated for someone else’s malicious act and what’s worst I can’t get into my account because the hacker locked me out and changed the password and security question. I was dumbfounded and infuriated, after 4 years with this account it was taken over.
I really want Google to help me bring back my account but I have to fill out a recovery form online and after filling out my third form, I’m still waiting to get my email account back. Oh why can’t the great and mighty Google have customer support contacts for their products rather then filling out form after form, I can even settle with online chatting. Google just came out with call support for their Google Adwords, so here’s hoping that they can expand on that service?
So what now? I’m still waiting for my email to be recovered and so I’m using an alternate email account till that happens. If not, I’ll have to create a new Gmail account as well as a Youtube account since I had them both linked, this time I’ll make the security even tighter.
So lesson learned, this can happen to anyone and by taking preventive measures right now, you’ll avoid my predicament. You can find different security measures online. Some common ones are listed below and that I plan on implementing:
- Make your password complex, avoid using your name, social security and birthdate.
- Change your password every couple of months.
- Make sure you have an alternate email for a recovery link.
- If you have other active networks, avoid the option of linking them to your email. Give them separate usernames and passwords.
- Always remember the specific details of your email account like when did you activate it, folders, and email contacts in case you need to fill out a form.
- How to recover a hacked Gmail account (fridaytrafficreport.com)
- Someone’s hacking my Blogger account (mo.notono.us)
- Email-list theft more serious than retailers say (knoxnews.com)
- My Facebook Account Got Hacked (labnol.org)
- Facebook Security/Privacy Tips (chronicpainjournal.wordpress.com)
- Cherif Habib: 5 email hacks that helped me tame the beast (jamessiminoff.com)
- How to Recover Hacked Email Accounts? (theethicalhacks.wordpress.com)