Compromised Before My Own Eye: How My Email Was Hacked - The Story Of An Internet User

Phishing Email Solved
The second Tuesday in the month of November wasn’t a usual day for me, it was one that could have rocked my trust as an individual and my entire career as a budding media personnel. I got a notification from Google Security Center, stating that I had just signed into my Gmail account. I tried accessing the location and device used since I know it is a security measure - Google only send verification codes when it had detected unusual activity on your account - but I couldn’t access it.

Moreover, I was sure it wasn’t me and really did not take it too serious until, calls came wrecking my phone line at about the same time… then, I knew some cyber-criminals were up against me.

They had gained access into my mail and sent a spam to ALL my contacts:

“Dear Sir/Madam, Please find detailed herewith Proforma Invoice for the shipment. Kindly acknowledge receipt and confirm delivery date. Thanks and best regards”

If you do not use your emails often, you may not understand the gravity of this. A false mail sent to ALL your contacts with your official signature and contact attached to the mail, is only best imagined. Now, the damage was almost done as I got very dirty responses from some people and all sort of name callings even from people I least expected. (Could have been a bad or recessed day for them).

How To Get Your Hacked Account Restored (if your login details hasn't been changed)

I hope you don’t experience this in the coming days, but, if you do. Follow the following steps on how to recover your hacked account.

1. Change your password follow this link for a Google Security guide .Once your account is restored;

2. Send a DISCLAIMER to as many contact as you can.

3. Log out All applications linked with your account 

Sign out all application associated with your hacked account (especially Google Play store), on both PC and all mobile devices.

4. Refresh all your applications

 After successful sign-out, refresh all your applications (associated with the hacked email account) and

5. Log in using your new password.

And hopefully, you’re safe.

How It All Happened

I forgot to add... This happened exactly 4 days after I received the same mail from a colleague.

So, when you get suspicious mail, call to confirm if it was meant for you before opening otherwise delete it immediately.

In order to avoid stories that touches the heart, NEVER click any link in your mail except you recognize it recipient, even if you do - scrutinize any links closely.

Misstechy in a blogpost explained how she almost got hacked through this same Email phishing scam method - but her ninja skills saved her. Learn from her. Security intelligence also reported how logins from a virtual machine almost ruined her career.

Read these articles I published earlier - 4 Ways To Protect Your Business From Phishing Scams and 6 Helpful Tips To Secure Yourself From Hackers, you will surely thank me later. ;)

That was a story of an internet user just like I and you. Hope you've learnt from it.

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