6 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Your Email is Attacked

When you suddenly discover that your email is attacked or hacked, it can be a scary situation. There’s also been a rise in the frequency of email attacks.

Studies have shown that around 81% of companies worldwide have been victims of email attacks since March 2020.

This article will highlight six different “do nots” that victims of an email attack should avoid and what to do instead. Keep reading to find out how you can best tackle the situation securely, should it ever arise.

1. Don’t panic

The first thing you need to do is not panic. Today, the majority of cyberattacks are implemented via email, and while it’s scary knowing that someone is reading your emails, panicking can lead to you making rash decisions that worsen the situation.

Instead, take a deep breath and try to get to the root of the problem. Did you just receive an email from an unfamiliar address? Did you find yourself locked out of your account? Are you receiving more spam than usual?

The answer to these questions will help determine what steps should come next. It’s possible that you haven’t been hacked, but the only way to ascertain that is by keeping a calm mind.

2. Don’t immediately reply to the attacker

If you are sure you have been hacked, don’t immediately reply to the attacker. You don’t want to accidentally give them any personal information. Getting a rise out of you is exactly what they want.

While giving some kind of aggressive response may seem tempting, it’s not worth it and some hackers can get quite nasty when they are angry.

Plus, they might be able to trick you into giving up more information, like your password, or tricking you into downloading more malware onto your computer.

Avoid responding at all costs. Sometimes the best course of action is silence.

3. Don’t delete the email

When someone has their email account attacked, people often panic and delete the email. But that’s a bad move. Deleted emails can’t be used as proof when lodging a complaint with the police or banks. Normally, there is no need to lodge a complaint because it’s more hassle than it’s worth, but if you did want to, evidence would be required.

You may not realize it, but your email is an asset that needs protection. No matter how you use it – whether for work or personal reasons – there will be times when you will need access to all the information stored in your mailbox, especially if you need to gather evidence of a scammer attacking you.

4. Don’t always rely on standard antivirus and anti-malware software to keep you 100% protected

If you are finding unusual activity in your account, such as emails sent that you didn’t send or passwords changed, then you have been hacked.

If this happens, one of the first things you can do is stop, reset and recover. Once an attack happens, your antivirus and anti-malware software can only protect your device from being corrupted, but you have to take measures to safeguard the source: your inbox.

Change all passwords for accounts linked to or accessible through your hacked email and follow the guidelines below for strengthening security measures.

If you simply received a suspicious email in your inbox but haven’t clicked any links or replied, then the attacker might not have gained access, so there’s no need to reset everything just yet.

However, if you think it’s possible that someone may have gained access and tampered with your account, then stop everything until you can reset passwords and improve your computer security.

5. Don’t assume you have no responsibility for the attack

When your emails get hacked, it can be a stressful experience. You might start to wonder how safe the content on your account is, what you should do about it, and the steps you should take to prevent it from happening again.

Part of the reason why hackers are able to hit our emails is because of a lack of safety measures or awareness on our part.

You may think that it’s not your fault that your email has been attacked, but you possibly could have prevented the catastrophe if you had taken more precautions on your end.

To prevent future attacks, educate yourself about how to defend your email account from being hacked. That way you can reduce the chances of it happening again and in the off chance that it does, you will be better equipped to deal with it like a pro.

6. Don’t be discouraged from using email in the future

Don’t give up hope. Yes, hackers can access your email account and send out damaging emails to all your contacts. But there are ways to protect your account from hackers — and ways to get it back if the worst does happen.

Email providers are also continually developing new ways to combat phishers, spammers and scammers. The most important thing you can do is protect yourself by being vigilant when you check your email. If you see something suspicious, don’t click anything or take any action until you verify that it’s legitimate.

Above all else, you should never just give up on email because it is a vital and useful tool for communicating with friends, family and business associates. Most people use it every day, so it’s not something you can just do without. Don’t let the attackers win.

Stay Safe With Email Today

Email hacking is everywhere. You don’t have to be famous or wealthy to be a target. Even non-profits are victims of cyberattacks in today’s world.

How to Identify and Prevent Email Attacks

Here are some strategies you can incorporate into your daily email routine to ensure your safety.

  • Have a “stranger-danger” approach. If you don’t recognize the sender, if the email has an urgent and aggressive tone, and if there’s a lot of typos, then you’re probably looking at a phishing scammer.
  • Don’t click on links. Unless you know the sender and trust them, you should avoid clicking on any links that are in the body of the email, including “unsubscribe” buttons.
  • Change your password regularly. It’s a simple tactic but one of the best things you can do for email safety.
  • Install firewalls. Firewalls protect your computer and network from being attacked, even if you accidentally click on a suspicious link.
  • Get anti-phishing browser add-ons. Most of the popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Edge have anti-phishing add-ons you can install that alert you about malicious websites. They’re free so there’s nothing stopping you from using them today.

Conclusion

Anybody can be hacked, and it’s imperative to keep up with the latest techniques of cybercriminals. Start safeguarding your email more proactively today, and you won’t have to worry about a hacker slipping through.

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CEO and Co-founder at

Mauricio Prinzlau is the CEO and Co-founder of Cloudwards. He is at the helm of the company and steers a team of editors, writers and designers from all around the world.

 

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