How to tell if an email has been hacked: For some time now, you have been receiving e-mail messages from people you don’t remember ever meeting: for this reason, you have suspected that someone is misusing your e-mail inbox. This is a big problem for you, as your inbox contains strictly confidential conversations and information, which shouldn’t be read by prying eyes. Convinced to go all the way, you opened Google and went looking for a guide to help you tackle the subject, and that’s how you came across my website.
If that’s the case, let me tell you: I really think I can help you! In fact, below I will explain how to understand if an email has been hacked by putting into practice some simple and effective analysis techniques. In addition, I will take care to list some Internet sites useful to understand if a particular mailbox has been involved in some data leak, so as to have the opportunity to secure any accounts connected to it.
So, without waiting an extra second, take a few minutes of free time for yourself and read very carefully everything I have to explain on the subject: I’m sure that, in a few minutes, you will have acquired all the skills necessary to dissolve the I suspect that, by now, it no longer makes you feel comfortable. Having said that, I just have to wish you happy reading and wish you a huge good luck for everything!
How to see if an email has been hacked
While there is no standard way to see if an email has been hacked , there are a few things you can do to understand if the mailbox is being used without the permission of the rightful owner. So, if you have any suspicions and want to see clearly, do not hesitate any longer and carry out, one by one, the checks I am about to tell you about.
Where possible, I recommend that you operate through the Webmail associated with your service (i.e. the Internet site from which the mailbox can be accessed); if you don’t know how to reach it, you can take a look at my tutorial on how to access the email, in which I have explained everything to you in detail.
Check your inbox
If you suspect that someone is misusing your email address, you should first check your inbox : if the cybercriminal on duty acted in a hurry, chances are you will find, in the aforementioned folder, messages from unknown people or automatic robots , or concerning topics or services not known to you .
Check the mail sent
As you certainly know, sent mail contains all messages that are sent through the inbox. If an attacker (even a little _distracted_, actually) had used your mailbox to send some message, then forgetting to get rid of it, you would be able to recover it from the aforementioned folder.
To access the sent mail , you must log in to your mailbox via the website dedicated to it (or open the program you usually use to consult your emails) and click on the appropriate folder, usually located on the left.
If you are using an app for smartphones and / or tablets, you must, instead, access the app menu (generally, you can do this by pressing the ☰ button located at the top left) and touch the Mail sent item from the proposed panel.
Check the password
Don’t remember changing your email password but, nevertheless, can’t access it anymore? Then it is very likely that someone has stolen the mailbox without your permission.
If this is your case, I advise you not to hesitate any longer and immediately restore the access key for the address: generally, you can do this by going to the section relating to your Account , then choosing the Security item. and indicating the desire to change the password by clicking on the appropriate link. I have explained to you how to reset the password of the most popular email accounts (Google, Outlook, Yahoo and so on) in this guide.
As an additional security measure, I also advise you to activate two-factor authentication , i.e. the request for an additional code to be entered during login: if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I suggest you take a look at the specific section of my article dedicated to accounts.
Warning : if your email has been hacked, it is very likely that the services connected to it (e.g. the online accounts you created using the same address) are no longer secure. In this regard, I recommend that you immediately change the password (and, of course, the e-mail address) relating to these sites. If you don’t remember which sites you are subscribed to, you can try to find them by following the instructions I gave you in my specific tutorial on the subject.
Check last login and IP addresses
Some email services allow you to check the date and time of access to your mailbox, also providing useful information regarding the IP address from which they occurred. If you suspect that your mailbox has been hacked, you can use this function to see more clearly.
Although this is a rather common feature, I am not able to provide you with precise instructions for all the existing e-mail services: in fact, the pages of my site would not be enough to show you all! What I can do, however, is to explain to you the steps to follow on the most used mail services.
- Gmail – after logging into your e-mail box from the Gmail website , scroll down the page until you find Last account activity: X minutes ago (bottom right). When you have found it, click on the Details item located immediately below to view the list of recent accesses.
- Outlook – connect to this web page , log in to your Microsoft account and take a look at the logins on the page displayed on the screen. To get details on a specific event (date, time, IP address, device, and so on), simply click on the relevant box.
- iCloud Mail – access the Apple ID management page , log in to your account and scroll to the next screen, until you find the Devices section , in which you will find all the devices from which your account has been accessed. Apple. If any of the devices in question are unknown, it could be that your mailbox has been hacked.
- Yahoo! Mail – connect to this website , log in using your credentials and take a look at the Recent Activity pane to identify any unrecognized activity.
Should you identify suspicious events for you, I recommend that you immediately terminate the session relating to the activity (by clicking on the Exit / Logout / Disconnect button attached to the dedicated box) and immediately change the account password, following the instructions I have provided. in the previous section of this guide .
Sites to find out if an email has been hacked
Smart cybercriminals typically try to keep a low profile so as not to make unwitting victims suspicious. For this reason, in some cases, the inbox may appear to be _ in place_, but still have suffered a breach. In order to eliminate any doubts, I advise you to check, using some special portals, if your e-mail address has fallen victim to some security breach.
Although such sites are not designed to “understand” whether a hacker has entered a mailbox or not, they are able to verify whether the corresponding address has been involved in cyber attacks aimed at stealing data. Below I show you how the best known (and safest) portals of this type work.
In this regard, I recommend: do not trust the first site that comes your way . Some portals apparently designed to verify the security of email accounts, are in fact created with the aim of collecting user addresses and reselling them. Use only the sites listed below or, in any case, sites of proven reliability, linked to well-known brands in the field of computer security.
HaweIBeenPwned or, for short, HIBP , is a historical Web portal suitable for verifying the security of your e-mail address. It has at its disposal a massive database containing data stolen during the largest and most harmful cyber attacks: this means, in practice, that if your email address has been involved in some breach, it is likely that HIBP is in able to let you know.
How? Very simple. After connecting to the main page of the service , enter your email in the text box located in the center of the screen and, to start the verification, click on the button pwned? : After a few moments, you should receive the result of the data verification.
If your e-mail address is indeed compromised, you will see a warning message in red and, immediately below, the list of cyber attacks for which it was a victim, along with some valid suggestions for changing your password.
Avast Hack Check
Another great service to check if your email address has been hacked in some way is Avast Hack Check , a portal made available by Avast , the security agency that distributes the antivirus of the same name. The operation is roughly similar to that seen above: once you have visited the web page of the portal , you must enter your email address in the box in the center of the page and click on the Check button , to check if the email is involved in any data leak.
However, I feel compelled to inform you that, by using this service, the email will be stored on Avast’s servers and used to report any future violations concerning it. To prevent this from happening, you can use the Friends Check section of the same service, designed to carry out the verification on behalf of third parties: by doing so, the e-mail address entered will not be stored or used in any way.
The last service I want to tell you, useful to understand if an email has been hacked , is Firefox Monitor : based on the HaveIBeenPwnd archives, this site allows you to quickly understand if your email address was involved in some data leak caused from cybercriminals.
To use it, connected to this website , enter your email address in the appropriate box and click on the Search violations button to check the security of the email. If successful, you will be shown the cyber attacks that resulted in the breach of the email address, along with some valuable information about them.
If the analyzes conducted above were to lead to a positive result, then I have bad news for you: most likely, the accounts matched to the specified email address are no longer safe.
This does not mean that they will surely be hacked, but I must inform you that there is a good chance that this will happen: the passwords leaked during the cyber attacks, in fact, are often sold on forums of questionable morality found on the dark Web, by the cybercriminals themselves.
For this reason, my advice is to immediately change the passwords associated with these Internet sites by activating, where possible, two-factor authentication : I know, this is a practice that can prove to be very long, but trust me, it’s worth it. really worth it. Data security always comes first!