Annoying as it is, you are blamed in sending spams, worst is, spammy messages with infections that further spread through your friend's contacts, but in fact you did not send anything, you are just hacked. This I just discovered today, when my gmail account received a message coming from my yahoo account. An account that has been "buried, forgotten and have not accessed" for years. If you have received this email from me, then my apologies, and please delete it, specially the one with attachment.
|Sent messages through my email|
How Am I sure I did not sent these out?
As long as the email can still be accessed it is easy to know when they take over the account and where in the world did they use it. I can also see their IP addresses. To check whether other people are using your account, do the instructions below.
Click the dropdown menu after your name, and click account info. This will send you back to the log in window, and after login click recent activity.
And here's the explanation of the spammy messages "I've sent " 9th and 28th of March. I blame it to somebody from Texas and Peru.
What to do to a hacked or compromised account?
First stage hack
Messages that are sent from your email address without your knowledge is the first sign of an account being sent. This means somebody has gained access to your user name and password that he use your details to send spams, or other messages with built in malicious codes on it, that further spread the infection when clicked.
What to do
Change your password, update your recovery email and phone number.
The second stage
Second stage is they change your user password. For hackers who gain thousands or millions of emails, it is also hard for them to deal with every single email like changing passwords. So in case they managed to change your password, other information like alternate email, security questions, and telephone numbers are left untouched.
What to do
If the hackers has not changed the recovery details like email. or phone numbers, you can still recover your email by choosing " I cannot access my account" and ticking "I think my account may have been compromised". This will prompt you to enter the recovery email you have set up to receive the link in resetting your account. After clicking the reset link, you will then be able to choose another password.
The third stage is the hacker takes over the account wholly. The reset emails, phone numbers, and answers to security questions are all changed. This third stage is dangerous, specially if you keep emails from your banks and other financial services.
What to do
You need to contact your bank as soon as possible and change the contact email you have provided and other companies that your email is attached to, like paypal, ebay, amazon, etc.etc.
And just create another one!