How to recover your hacked email address ?
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One day you may find that someone has hacked your email and changed the password and hence you can not access to it. He may also send some unsolicited emails to the address from your address book. How can you get back your hacked email?
Remedies are few, but you do need to act quickly
You should immediately contact your email service provider. Now, on the surface that sounds both simple and like it should be a quick remedy. And if your email is being provided by your ISP or someone else with real phone support, it may be.
The problem is that most of the accounts that are being hijacked like this are free accounts with little or no customer service. Hotmail and Yahoo accounts are the most frequently compromised, and coincidentally both offer no telephone-based support. You must first access their on-line support system (perhaps having to create a new account on their system to do so), and submit your problem via a web form, email or in a support forum.
All that takes time. Response will not be quick, if at all.
This is the "price" of free email accounts.
In a case like this I would:
(*) "but my contacts were on the stolen account" - exactly. If you haven't been backing up your address book in some way, or don't have some kind of a duplicate copy, then the best you can hope for is to rely on your memory. Take backup of your address book frequently.
It's important to make sure we also learn from the experience. Account compromise can be mostly avoided or it impacts minimized if you follow a few common sense guidelines:
Call your ISP immediately and tell them what is happening. They should have some way of identifying you, after which they should be able to reset your password. This is typically the approach for pay services - they may verify your identity with your credit card number or some other piece of information they collected at the time you signed up.
Reset your password. Free services may or may not have customer service numbers you can call, but they typically have a "forgot your password?" function. These will either confirm your identity with a question / answer that you provided when you signed up or will reset and/or email your password to an alternate email address you provided when you signed up.
Get a new account / address. Changing or resetting your password through the service is really your only recourse to recover your email account. If that can't be made to work, then get a new account, and let your friends know that your old email account has been compromised and to disregard anything they get from the old address.
Prevention. It's tough given the number of accounts and passwords we all need to remember, but the fact is choosing a hard-to-guess password and changing it regularly are important steps you can take to avoid this situation. Similarly, make sure "remember me" is turned off if you're ever using a computer in a public place to read your email.
And as always, scan for viruses and spyware regularly.
( Ask Leo by Leo Notenboom http://ask-leo.com/ is the right place to ask if you have computer questions ... anything ranging from internet safety to wireless hotspot safety to hacked email accounts to simple computer tips and general online technical support you've come to the right place.)