Hacked Gmail account: how to recover it?
Loss of personal data, unauthorized access to sensitive information, or even potential fraudulent use of your identity… On Gmail as on any email service, account hacking is a common problem that can have serious consequences.
When this happens to you, it is therefore essential to act quickly and efficiently to limit the damage.
You suspect that your Gmail account has been hacked? You want to regain control of it as quickly as possible? Rest assured, your account may not necessarily be lost, there are solutions to recover it quickly and easily.
Debugbar will reveal them in detail and explain how to prevent this from happening again.
5 signs indicating that your Gmail account may have been hacked
You think you have had your Gmail account hacked, but you’re not sure? Some hackers act subtly and take control of your account discreetly. It is therefore important to spot signs of potential hacking.
There are 5 that should particularly alert you:
- There have been connections from unknown devices
- Your password has changed without you having done anything
- You notice suspicious activity in your inbox and “Sent” folder
- Your settings have been changed without your consent
- You receive unusual notifications
Let’s take a closer look at these signs!
Connections from unknown devices
Google records all devices that are used to connect to a user’s account. If you see connections from a computer or phone you’ve never used, your account may have been compromised.
To check this, it’s very simple:
- Log in to your Google account.
- Click on the icon with your initials at the top right of the page.
- Select “Manage your Google Account”.
- Next, click on “Security” in the left-hand menu.
- Go to the “Your devices” section.
- Review the list. If you see an unknown computer or tablet, click on “Manage devices” then “sign out” next to that device to disconnect it from your account.
Unexpected change of your password
If you try to log into your Gmail account and your password does not work, this is an alarming sign. A malicious person could have changed your password to take full control of your account.
You’ll then need to act and reset it as quickly as possible. We explain how a little later in this article.
Suspicious activity in your inbox and “Sent” folder
Another sign of breach is the emergence of unknown or suspicious emails in your ‘Inbox‘ or ‘Sent items’.
Messages sent without your consent, spam or even deleted emails are all indicators that someone else may have access to your account.
Change of your settings without your consent
This is another tactic commonly used by hackers. They change the account settings to disrupt the user and continue to use the account unnoticed.
If you notice unexpected changes in your Gmail settings, it is highly likely that your account has been hacked.
Unusual security notifications
You may have noticed that when you log into your Gmail account from an unidentified device (computer, smartphone, etc.), Google sends you a notification.
These Google notifications are very useful because they can alert you to a potential hack.
For example, if you receive a notification indicating that you have added a new phone number or email address to your account without having done so, this could be a sign that someone else is using your account.
Have you noticed one or more of these 5 signs on your account? Then you’ll need to act quickly! Let’s see how to do it.
How to recover a hacked Gmail account?
Recovering a hacked Gmail account is primarily a matter of speed and password. Whether or not you are able to log in to your account, you’ll therefore need to change your login data quickly.
How to regain control of your Gmail if you still have access to your account?
Still have access to your account? That’s generally good news! You’ll simply need to reset your password.
Here are the steps to take so:
- Click on your identification icon in the top right corner of the page
- Select “Manage my Google Account”
- Click on “Security” in the left-hand menu
- Go to “How you sign in to Google”
- Click on “Password”
- Enter your old password if you know it.
- If you’ve forgotten it, click on “Forgotten password” and follow the instructions to create a new password.
How to recover your Gmail if you can no longer log in to your account?
If you can no longer access your account, don’t panic, there’s a way to recover your account. Google has set up a specific procedure for that.
Here’s the method to do so:
- Go to google.com/accounts/recovery
- Enter the e-mail address of the hacked account
- Follow the instructions provided by Google:
- Google will ask you to enter an e-mail address or phone number linked to your account to verify your identity.
- You may also have to answer questions about when you created your account or frequent contact e-mail addresses.
4. Once verified, you can reset your password and regain the control of your e-mail account.
Note: Recovering your account can take some time, from a few hours to several days.
Now that you’ve changed your password and recovered your account, it doesn’t mean that your troubles with hackers are over. It’s time to put measures into place to transform your Gmail into an impregnable fortress.
6 steps to bolster your Gmail account’s security
Prevention is always the best cure. Here are some measures to adopt to prevent being hacked or re-hacked:
- Enable two-factor authentication
- Use a secure browser
- Employ strong and unique passwords
- Set up a recovery email and phone number
- Regularly check your contact information
- Use a password manager
Activate two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an additional security measure that requires not only a password, but also a second identification step.
This second step can take the form of a code sent via SMS or authentication app.
The method to enable 2FA on your e-mail account is straightforward:
- Sign in to your account.
- Click on “Manage my Google account”
- Select “Security” on the left side menu.
- Click on “Two-step verification”.
- Follow the instructions to enable two-step verification.
Use a secure browser
A secure browser like CCleaner Browser, Brave, or the Onion can provide extra protection against online attacks.
These types of browsers automatically block ads, trackers, and other malicious scripts that could jeopardize the security of your account.
Create strong and unique passwords
Weaker passwords or those reused across multiple accounts make an easy target for hackers.
Ensure you use strong and unique passwords for each account. A strong password comprises a minimum of 8 characters and includes a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Set up a recovery email
In case of hacking, having a recovery email and phone number can greatly facilitate the recovery of your account.
To add these details to your Google account:
- Sign in to your Google account
- Click on “Manage my Google account”
- Select “Security” on the left side menu
- In the “Ways we can verify it’s you” section, click on “Recovery email address” or “Recovery phone number” to add or change these details
Good to know: Regularly ensure your contact details are up-to-date. This will ease regaining control of your account in case of suspicious activity on it.
Use a password manager app
A password manager app can help manage all your passwords.
Apps like Bitwarden, 1Password, or Zoho Vault can generate strong passwords, save them in a secure digital vault, and autofill them for you when logging into your accounts.
Recovering a hacked Gmail account: the essentials
In summary, the hacking of your Gmail messaging service may be an extremely unpleasant experience, but it’s important to know that you can recover your account. By acting swiftly and following the correct steps, you can regain control of your account and limit potential damage.
You can then implement a series of measures to avoid being targeted by hackers again.
- Your Gmail account may have been the target of hacking if you notice any of the following 5 signs:
- Log-ins from an unknown device
- An unexpected password change
- Suspicious activity in your inbox or “sent” folder
- Changes to your settings without your consent
- And unusual notifications
- If you suspect being hacked, change your password immediately.
- To secure your Gmail account and prevent hacking:
- Enable two-factor authentication
- Use a secure browser to enhance protection against online attacks
- Create strong and unique passwords
- Set up a recovery email
- Regularly check your contact and recovery information
- And use a password manager