Yahoo apprised its users on Friday that several accounts and usernames had been compromised by hackers. The coordinated hack attacks were an attempt to gain access to Yahoo Mail acccounts and the company is now asking its users to reset their accounts.
As per the Yahoo blog, a malicious computer software used the list of usernames and passwords to access Yahoo Mail accounts. "The information sought in the attack seems to be names and email addresses from the affected accounts' most recent sent emails," a Yahoo statement said.
Yahoo claimed that the information was collected from a third-pary database.
Here are a list of measures one should immediately take to secure the account
1. Check email provider's site for information
No email account is safe from online hacking and hence every email provider, such as Yahoo, Google and Microsoft, have an online instructions page on what do to, in case an account has been hacked.
Yahoo Mail has links titled "I can't access my account" on its front page. Similarly, Google has a separate set of instructions, and so does Microsoft.
2. Clear Computer of viruses or malware
Often hackers are able to get users' passwords through malware that has been installed in a PC or a laptop without the knowledge of the user. Hence, before recovering your account or changing the password, clear the viruses or malware.
3. Notify Friends and Family
Notify friends and family as soon as possible and warn them not to open anything from your compromised email address. Also tell those who've received spam from you to run a scan using their anti-virus and to update their firewall protection.
4. Change or reset your password
After running the antivirus program, try signing to the email account. If you are able to sign into your account then, change your password. If you cannot sign in, reset your password. But ensure that you are using a strong password.
5. Check the personal email settings
It is possible that the email hacker may have created an email forwarding policy. Also check, if the hacker has fiddled with your automatic signature or put some malicious link.
6. Change the password for all other accounts
It is also imperative that you change the password of other accounts as well. Often some users tend to use same password for their other accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, and in some cases, even for their bank accounts. Hence as a precaution, change them all.
7. Examine the Email Folders
If your email was hacked by a spammer, then in all possibility, the hijacker would have sent tons of emails from your username. Simply delete them all.
8. Always be careful
Try not to use public computers to check e-mail, as there is no way to know if they are infected with malwares. But if you absolutely must, then ensure that you keep changing your password periodically.