A hacked email can cause lots of problems, and for good reason. Your shopping, social media, cloud storage, web hosting, and tons of other personal info is out there, and if someone manages to get into it, hackers can mess up your life quite a bit. Here are just a few things they can do.
Target Your Friends
Hackers can use your email to contact your friends, potentially scamming money out of them under the disguise of you. For instance, they’ll claim that you are in some kind of financial situation, be it a mugging, a car accident, or what have you, and that you need to send money by routing it to a certain bank account to do this. However, the money your friends send goes to the hacker, and it makes you look bad.
If they’re your trusted friend, however, they should know when something’s up. Their email to them will sound nothing like you, and they’ll call you to make sure. This can backfire in the hacker’s face, since you’re aware your account has been compromised.
They Can Erase Your Hard Drive
By grabbing hold of your email, they can access your Google account, your Facebook, your Twitter, your cloud storage, and more, and can erase everything you have on there. Even from your devices. Many devices are integrated with cloud storage, making it easy for a hacker to swipe everything.
They Can Destroy Your Personal Image
Besides asking your friends from money, they could use your social media accounts to broadcast hateful messages. But that’s not all. They can find personal photos of yourself and post them online. Take the now-defunct website IsAnyoneUp.com. This site hosted revenge porn, which nude photos of a person that are posted online without the person’s consent, usually by a jealous ex or someone else seeking revenge.
Many photos on the site were from hacked accounts. Thankfully, the site is down, and the owner, Hunter Moore, is in serious trouble.
However, there are other sites like that out there. In a world where people sext nudes to each other without thinking twice, it’s easy for them to be leaked. Our advice would be to keep such personal things to yourself, or use messaging services that don’t allow the user to save.
Many store websites keep payment information. It makes it convenient for returning customers who don’t want to type numbers every time they purchase. Amazon, the biggest outlet, does require you to reenter credit card information if you send it to another address, but many outlets don’t do this. All it takes is a password reset, and then the person can do whatever to your account.
Snoop Into Your Conversations
By accessing your email, hackers can snoop into private conversations, whether it’s on Facebook, through email, or another service. Our advice would be to delete or encrypt all conversations you have, but not many people do that.
In many ways, your email is a master key that a hacker can use to access your other accounts, and any part of your digital life connected to that email can be accessed once the hacker is in. However, you can protect yourself. You can use temp emails, or use multiple emails for different parts of the internet, like having one for social, one for shopping, or one for more personal things. Another thing you can do is to use two-step authentication, which will require input by you personally once you log in. This way, your account is protected for good.