Do you know that as of Dec 2021, 5.5 billion email accounts have been hacked? This is huge and there’s always a chance that your email ID can also be one of them.
Don’t panic as I have been there too! As soon as I read this piece of news, my first thought was how do I know if my Hotmail account has been hacked?
To answer this question, I did a ton of research and in this article, I’m going to share with you all that I learned and found. So, read on!
Ways To Confirm Your Hotmail Account Has Been Hacked
There are many ways to know if your email is hacked. Here are a few things to watch out for.
Someone Using My Hotmail Account
Do you see emails and responses coming from people you don’t know? Well, that simply means someone is using your Hotmail email account.
Also, if your contacts are getting spam messages from you, it means that some malicious individual/entity has taken over your account and is using it as a means for phishing your contacts. If this is the case, make sure to warn your contacts by sending them a legit email or through other means such as chats, text messages, and phone calls.
Note: We have detailed instructions on how to deal with this issue in our guide, ‘ We Think That Someone Else Might Have Accessed The Microsoft Account: What To Do?’.
Any unauthorized transactions or any unusual charges on an account linked to your Hotmail ID could point to a hack. In such a situation, cancel your accounts or notify the customer care team of the service linked to your Hotmail, so they will take the necessary steps to prevent any more transactions.
Message From Microsoft
Check your inbox for any message from Microsoft that says, “Help us secure your account.” It should look something like this.
However, double-check the sender’s ID to ensure that it is a genuine email from Microsoft. In particular, check for spellings as hackers are known to use misspelled email IDs for phishing. For example, [email protected] is genuine, but [email protected] is not.
These are the three sure-fire ways to know if your Hotmail is hacked.
If you don’t notice any of these signs, but you’re unable to access your Hotmail, it could be because of the wrong username/password, locked account, etc.
Solutions If Hotmail Is Hacked
So, what do you do if your Hotmail is hacked?
Here are the steps to retrieve your account and take full control of it.
Change Your Password
As a first step, change your Microsoft password. To do this, go to https://account.live.com/password/reset and enter your email ID, phone number, or Skype name.
Next, you will be asked to verify an associated email ID or phone number through which you want to verify.
As you can see, the email ID is not a complete one, and you will have to type the complete recovery email ID associated with your Hotmail account.
Once you do that, a code is sent to the recovery email ID and you will have to enter the code on the next page.
Enter the code from your recovery email ID.
After you enter the code, you can change your password. You will have to retype the new password again for confirmation.
If you don’t have a recovery email ID associated with your Hotmail account or if you’re unable to recover, use this recovery form to reset your password and access your account again.
Review Sign-in Activity
After you change your password, check for any suspicious activity.
Go to Security > Sign-in activity > View my activity
You may be asked to verify your identity with a code and can choose the verification option. It can be a code sent to your phone or a different email ID. Once you enter the code, you will be able to view the sign-in activity.
Check if there have been any unusual logins from places that you did not visit during that period.
You can also run a scan and remove any malware that it may throw. Finally, reset your password again after removing the malware.
Check Hotmail (Outlook) Email Settings
Go to https://account.microsoft.com/security and review your email settings.
Go through each option and remove/change any setting that looks different or if you believe it is changed.
Change Passwords On Other Personal Accounts
Go to other personal accounts that are associated with your Hotmail account and to services that has your Hotmail account for single sign-on. Make sure to change the passwords on those services as well to prevent hackers from using your Hotmail ID and password to access them.
Last Resort: Close Your Hotmail (Outlook.com) Account
If you’re unable to change the password or if your account has been taken over by hackers, close your Hotmail account for good. This is the last resort and must be used only in dire situations.
Create a new Hotmail ID and make sure to update all services and online platforms with the new one.
Thus, this is how you can mitigate the impact when your Hotmail is hacked.
Has Hotmail Been Hacked Before?
Yes, Hotmail has been hacked before and there is always a possibility for it to be hacked now and in the future!
Tips To Avoid Getting Email Account Hacked
Is Hotmail safe from hackers? Regardless of what Microsoft or any other company does to beef up its security, there is always a chance for someone to hack and use your email account. This is more likely when you don’t follow any security protocols or measures.
This is why we present some tips to avoid getting your Hotmail account hacked.
- Create a strong password and one that is not associated with your name, date of birth, etc. It should be hard for a hacker to guess it. Use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols.
- Use the Microsoft or any other authenticator app to sign in without requiring a password.
- Set up a recovery email address and phone number
- Learn to identify phishing emails and never send your password to anyone.
- Update your operating system and keep your devices safe from malware.
- Check your activity once every few days to ensure there is nothing suspicious.