Cyber Alarm logo

How do I know if my email has been hacked?

hand holding envelope


The first thing most of us do when we get to the office is check our email. Today, Email is a crucial part of everyone’s day to day life. Used as the primary source of communications in businesses, email has become incredibly attractive to hackers. Your email is not only tied to communications with your clients and coworkers, but to essential services utilised by your business as well. Therefore, your email holds a sensitive and confidential pool of information that hackers commonly seek access to.


There are a few common signs that point to an email hack. First, you may notice spam mail flooding your inbox. This is a common trick used by hackers in an attempt to draw your attention away from real emails indicating you of suspicious activity. Another sign is when your messages end up being blocked by those you’re trying to communicate with. As your email gets tied to scams, you may automatically be placed on a blacklist which other email systems will monitor and subsequently block. Lastly, the most obvious sign that you’ve been hacked is when others break the news to you. 


It’s especially important to note that hackers do not necessarily need access to your email to steal from you. They can set up a similar email address or set their email name to yours, pretending to be you and potentially fooling clients into sending confidential information.


If you believe an email you received is not from an authentic sender, reach out to that person via a second channel of communication. You should reach out to the sender through a phone call or text message to confirm they, in fact, have sent that message. This is not only a brilliant way to alert the other party of a potential hack, but it protects you in the process as well. Emails that contain viruses or malware are equally, if not more, dangerous than a hacker gaining access to your email. Sending a virus from a legitimate appearing email may fool many into clicking on the message and getting hacked themselves, effectively kicking off a cycle of hacking. The newly hacked user will send a similar email carrying the virus to others who will unknowingly get hacked themselves and trigger a chain of hacking.


Image credit – Erica Steeves – Unsplash