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What to do if your Google account is hacked?

Google and Facebook are the epitome of the internet in this era and our lives circulate around them. Almost everyone owns one or more accounts on these platforms and cyber security is practically a myth. If you haven’t been through it yet, consider yourself lucky. A tonne of people get their accounts compromised every single day and they have no clue what to do next. It is later that they realised how valuable it is to keep yourself protected in whatever manner possible. Every platform is putting out more and more options to maintain their user’s online security. Anyhow, due to lack of knowledge or ignorance, the masses get caught in the trap. Anyhow there are a number of ways this can be prevented, and if hacked there are a number of ways to pull yourself out of it. Although, there is no guarantee that personal data might not be compromised. Today in this article we will have a look at what you can do to secure a hacked google account.

Step 1 : Try to sign in to your google account.

If you aren’t logged in to your google account on the device you are using to secure your account, sign in first And then Move forward to the next step.

When an account is hacked or compromised the hacker usually changes all your credentials and personal information like your passwords and your security number, recovery email etc. If you are unable to sign-in then move on to the account recovery page. There google has questions personalised to identify your identity. In some cases the account also gets deleted but it can still be recovered.

Step 2: Review your activity and help secure your google account

Once you are signed-in or have recovered your account look for malicious activity and help google secure your account.

Firstly, Go to “Settings” and look for “Security”. Under that look for “Review Security Events” and check for any suspicious activity there. If you find an activity that didnt come from you, click on “No, it wasn’t me” to secure your account. You can block out the imposter just by following a few steps.

Secondly, Review the devices that use your google account. Under Security find “Manage Devices”. This will show you all the devices your account has been logged in to. If there are any devices that you don’t recognise, Click on “Don’t recognise a device” and complete the steps that come ahead.

Step 3: Take more security steps

Last but not least, the best way to secure your account is to take as many security steps as possible. Google provides you with a number of ways by which you can easily protect your account from hackers. Don’t shy away from applying these steps.

Turn on 2-step verification

2-step verification is one of the most basic and the safest ways to keep your account protected from hackers. When you turn on two step verification, google gives you a tonne of options to sign in. Under 2-step verification, you sign-in using something you know i.e your password and something you have i.e your phone, security key or a printed code. You have to confirm your identity through various options. You can get a one time password, use security keys provided by google while turning on the 2-steo verification, or by using the authenticator app.

If the 2-step verification is on, your account stays secure even if your password is compromised.

Contact your bank

Make sure your financial credentials like your bank account, credit cards on google pay or google chrome have not been compromised. To be absolutely positive, contact your bank and update all your cres=dentials as soon as possible. In case, you notice any unrecognised activity form your account like, opening of a new account or transfer of funds, immediately report it.

Use password alert

Password alert is a chrome extension that helps you protect your account. If you enter your password on a site that is pretending to be google, it will immediately notify you. This is a good way to prevent your account from phishing.

Remove harmful softwares 

If you notice unfamiliar activity, you might need to take steps to remove harmful softwares from your device. You can run the device with a trusted anti-malware softwares that will keep your online activity protected. You can also reset your device to factory settings and reinstall the operating system.

Use a secure browser

Although all browsers have protective extensions that block virus and malware, using a more secure browser like chrome or mozilla firefox might help you.

Secure other apps and devices

Follow the above mentioned steps to protect other devices where you use your google account. Also, change your password on any application or website that uses your google account to prevent password theft. This will definitely lead to a more secure account.

If you know someone who uses Google One, that might turn out to be a little helpful for you. As with Google One, the user gets the option to directly contact a customer service executive by google who can easily verify your identity and help you secure your account ina short amount of time.

In any casel, if you notice any kind of unfamiliar or suspicious activity on your account or any other google services, immediately changing the password for your account might help you. As mentioned earlier change the password of any and all websites, applications that use your google account to stay in touch with you.

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