Prevent Your Email Account From Being Hacked

If you've had your email account hacked, then it may be time to take further security measures to keep it from happening in the future. Here are some simple steps you can take right now to better secure your account:

  1. Change your account password Make your password as strong as possible, using a random string of characters, letters, and numbers. The best way to do this is to use a password vault like LastPass, 1Password, KeePass, DashLane, or Roboform to remember these difficult passwords.
  2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication Two-Factor authentication requires more than just your password to gain access to your account. When you sign in, you'll receive a text message with a code that you will need to enter in addition to your password. This means that someone would need both your password and your phone to get into your account, which makes it much less likely that the account will be hacked. Here's how to turn on two-factor authentication for Yahoo, Google, and Outlook: For Yahoo Mail, consult this page at help.yahoo.com. For Gmail, consult this page at support.google.com For Outlook.com mail, consult this page at windows.microsoft.com.

    To access your mail on a phone or tablet, you'll need to generate an app-specific password for each app on each device:

    For Yahoo Mail, consult help.yahoo.com For Gmail, consult support.google.com For Outlook.com mail, consult windows.microsoft.com

  3. Register your own domain name & forward your email If you register a domain name, most registrars will allow you to forward mail received on that email address to whatever email service you want. Hover.com will give you an email address on your domain for $10 a year, which you can then have forwarded to another service. (Disclaimer: Hover is a sponsor).
  4. Turn off or change security questions Most email providers have "security questions" to recover a forgotten password. Often times, these questions can be guessed by someone doing a Google search. If you can't disable these questions, then it's better to answer them with bogus answers. Instead of relying on these security questions, you can use a password vault such as LastPass, 1Password, KeePass, DashLane, or Roboform to remember your passwords.

It seems that Yahoo Mail is more susceptible to account hacks in general, so it's recommended that you switch to Gmail, which has better security. If you can't switch away from Yahoo Mail, you should disable contact syncing to your devices, and then delete all of your contacts stored in Yahoo Mail. This way, if your account is hacked, the hacker won't be able to spam all of your contacts. But even in Yahoo Mail, if you have two-factor authentication turned on, your account will be much less likely to be compromised.