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How to Tell if Your Email, Computer, or Facebook Has Been Hacked

Not all suspicious behavior is a hack.

You Have Been Hacked!
Unless a password's been changed, it's difficult for a typical user to tell if their computer or account has been hacked.
How do I tell if my email, my computer, or my Facebook account has been hacked?

Well, it depends.

I’ll look at several approaches, but I need to be honest: you may not always be able to tell — at least not right away.

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You can often tell your email account has been hacked if your contacts — not just one or two, but many contacts — start getting spam from you. When it comes to your computer, unexpected activity may be the only sign, and can be easily mistaken for normal operation. Unexpected activity directly in your online accounts can also indicate a hack, but duplicate or clone accounts are not a sign of a hack. Finally, a sudden inability to sign in to an account is probably the most common first sign of a hack.


Email hacks are one of the easiest to recognize because your contacts may be the first to know.

If you suddenly get multiple messages from your contacts, saying they’ve received spam email from your address — not your name, your actual email address — there’s a pretty good chance your email account has been hacked.

That this rash of reports comes from your contacts — the entries in your contacts list or address book — is important.

Spammers can easily send email that looks like it’s coming from you without hacking your account. It’s called “from: spoofing” and doesn’t use your account at all. Spammers just forge email and send it out to random people on the internet.

On the other hand, if you’re getting multiple reports from people listed in your address book, that’s the clue that something’s up. The spammer may have hacked your account and could be using your address book as a target for their messages.

If this is happening to you, review my article, “Email Hacked? The 7 Things You Need to Do Right Away.” It lists the steps you need to take. It’s not enough to just change your password; there are other things you need to do.


When hackers attack a computer, they go to great lengths to hide. That means you can’t always easily determine what’s wrong.

I do have an article — “How Can I Tell If My Computer Is Being Hacked?” — which might give you a good start.

There are a couple of possible indications that something is up.

  • An abnormal increase in internet or network activity. Unless you actively monitor your internet connection (and I know of no one who does), this usually manifests as slow internet access when you know you’re not doing anything special. In recent years, this has become significantly more difficult to diagnose, however, since most people have multiple devices connected to the internet that could be hogging the connection.
  • Unexpected disk activity. This is a similar scenario; a hacker or malware is accessing files on your computer. This is one of the early warning signs of ransomware performing its malicious task. Again, you have to know what’s normal and what’s not. The problem is that many programs access the disk even when you’re not using the computer.

Prevention is significantly easier than detection. Follow the guidelines outlined in Internet Safety: 7 Steps to Keeping Your Computer Safe on the Internet to prevent this from happening in the first place. It’s very difficult for the average computer user to tell if their computer has been hacked.


Like email, a hack of your Facebook account tends to be clearer than that of your computer. The first sign is when posts or messages appear on Facebook that look like they came from you, but you know you had nothing to do with.

It’s important to note that liking a page or playing a game can sometimes allow them to post things on your behalf. That’s generally not a sign of a hack. It’s when something appears that could only have been posted or messaged by you, and yet you know you didn’t, that we suspect a hack.

Once again, the same kinds of things we discussed in respect to email apply to Facebook. You need to change your password and change (or at least confirm) your recovery settings.

It’s also important to realize that a duplicate account made to look like your account is not a hack. It’s just someone creating an account on Facebook using your name, photos, and other information. You can report it to Facebook, but again: you have not been hacked.

What about passwords?

One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is passwords.

By far the most common sign that your account has been hacked is that you can no longer log in because your password has been changed. That’s a pretty clear sign, and has a pretty clear resolution path: use the account recovery options you’ve set up to recover access to your account.

Hackers are sneaky, though. Sometimes they’ll purposely leave the password unchanged to delay your discovery of the problem. The longer you don’t realize it, the longer they can do whatever the heck they’re doing.

Have you been hacked? What tipped you off?

As you can tell, unless your password’s been changed, it can be difficult to tell you’ve been hacked at all.

If that’s happened to you, I’d be interested in learning how you figured it out. What kinds of things tipped you off? What made you suspicious?

Leave a comment below with your experience.

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144 comments on “How to Tell if Your Email, Computer, or Facebook Has Been Hacked”

  1. Regarding email hacking, Leo’s article describes the case of a person, say A, suffering an email hack (contacts/address book compromised), whereupon A’s address book contacts, say B, C and D, receive emails apparently from A, without A being aware of it (and without any sign in the “Sent” folder).

    Question: Is it possible that under the same circumstance (A’s email hacked), dodgy emails can appear to have been sent, not by A, but by one of those contacts, say B, and are received by A, C and D? So they all think the hack is of B’s email, whereas it is actually of A’s email ?

    Thanks for yr advice,

    • That can happen without a hack at all. Spammers have been spoofing the from address for years. I’m certain that the relationships that they uncover in people’s contacts list could be used as you describe by some of the more “advanced” spammers, but I would not take is as a sign that “A” has necessarily been hacked. Typically when contact lists are used the email appears to come from the contact list’s owner.

      This article is worth a read: Someone’s sending from my email address! How do I stop them?!

  2. I have a somewhat different problem. I sometimes get email from someone I know, but it is not from that person. For instance, John Doe has an address of “John Doe (john123 – at –”. That’s the real address. I might get one from “John Doe” with a subject of “Hey Joe”. When I inspect the email address it is different – “John Doe (flub1 – at –” or the newr It is always from a yahoo account.

    Most all are not in my email address book and I don’t keep any on line. In almost all cases they are people on my Facebook account.

    Just in case, I have changed all email and Facebook passwords and security questions and answers. I do this every couple of months. If I find I need to change one, I do them all.


    • This is actually very common from spoofing. In addition there was (or perhaps still is) a way that spammers could divine the relationships you might have on Facebook – i.e. who your friends are. They couldn’t get the email address, but they could get the names. So in order to trick people into opening their spams they created messages that look like they come from your friends – by name, but not by actual email address. There’s nothing that can be done about this at this point, and there’s nothing really that you need to do.

      • Hello,Is this page still active? Anyway I want to ask why I see stranger emails popping up while Im logging on facebook? Im the only one using my computer but it seems like somebody used it and log in on facebook? Thanks in advanced.

        • What kind of strange emails and how and where do they appear. Strange emails sound like ordinary spam.

  3. i want to know that what had happen on my wall when it was hacked by my friend so i want some suggesion from u plz help me my fri had behaved very badly so i just want to check on my wall becz they had written lot of horrible to my family ,friends and also to my sister so plz help to check my wall

    • I’m afraid I have no idea what you are asking. If you just want to look at your hijacked wall, just have a friend who is still friends with the account help you to look at it. Other than that, start the process of regaining your account using your Facebook recovery information.

    • Mohdabraar,
      I’m taking a wild guess here that you may be confused about the way posts happen in Facebook. It is easy to be confused because it really is confusing! When your friends make a post it often (not always) shows up on your wall. So they could very well be posting things about you without hacking your account at all. If the posts are actually comments to things you have posted on your timeline you can delete them. If they are on your wall you can only hide them. And you can also take steps to report bad behavior to Facebook. So, if you take Leo’s advice and make sure you have exclusive control of your account, then that is the next thing to look for.

  4. Can a hacker run a google search on my computer (it looks like I searched on my computer, but I didn’t) and then click into websites from that search. In other words, if someone hacked into my computer, will it look like I looked at websites, when I did not?

    • Judy,
      Unfortunately, it’s possible. If a hacker or malware gets into your computer, there’s almost nothing they can’t do.

        • Nope. Reformatting a computer doesn’t affect whether or how an online account like Facebook is or has been hacked. Reformatting a computer simply removes malware (and everything else) from your PC. You still then need to take all the appropriate steps to keep your computer and online accounts secure.

  5. On frequent occasions I have to re-log into my email or facebook accounts when I know that I hadn’t logged out of them. Sometimes things that I’ve already read in email appear as unread. The last time that I logged into facebook, I received a notification of a post that I had made the day before (to myself). I am connected to a shared router. Are these “glitches” indications that my computer accounts are being monitored?

    • Linux is generally much safer than Windows or even MacOS, mostly by virtue of it not being as great a target as the OSs with the greater market share. However, no OS is hackproof. As they say, the only sure way to avoid viruses is to leave your computer turned off. I even got infected before I started using the Internet.

  6. If someone Hacks into my ROUTER, will THEIR activity show on MY personal computer & phones?? — We Have activity as far as Websites visited But swear Router must of been hacked. Is that possible for activity to be on comp & phone if they wasn’t actually used?

  7. Every time I open my email account I start reading or writing an email after about 30 seconds it flashes blank and then brings me back to the home email screen. Does this mean someone has hacked and reading my emails?

  8. My facebook account has been hacked and the recovery email id has been changed. What should i do now. Please help me out. I tried everything bt of no use.

  9. I go on a forum and I am being accused of sending messages to various members and the messages show my account name but I have done this and have reported several times I have changed my name and password!!

  10. I have been receiving intermittent (several times a day) noises that sound like two blips. It doesn’t make any difference what sites I’m on or going to. It’s been going on for about the last three months. My computer is running fine but this noise is the most annoying mystery to me. Could it be some kind of spy program?

    • I get blips fairly regularly. In my case it’s interference from other electronic devices. For example, one case this happens is when my mobile phone is about to ring. Other times, it just appears to be random, but I’m sure it’s some other electronic device somewhere causing this. I just got on while I was typing this 🙂

  11. I was talking to someone I don’t know on Facebook . He was able to get all my details such as : my work email, my ID , birthplace, ..etc . and he said he knows some people working in a minister of interior who deliver him my details. The question is how did they get all my details ?

    • Mohamed,
      Some of the things you mention are very easy to find. On Facebook you have your workplace listed, and all I would have to do is Google your work to find that number. So this scammer is just using easy to find things to try to get you to worry and fall for his scam.

  12. I was reading this article and had to comment. My husband has been having an issue with his facebook. He is really not that computer saavy as I am but his facebook keeps getting hacked. He is out of the country right now and we use facebook as the main form of communication. Someone keeps getting into his facebook account and deleting me from his friends list and blocking me. I have had to create several accounts just to get a hold of him. He says he doesn’t know how this is happening . He created another account yesterday and everything was fine until today when the same issue popped up. Someone logged onto his account, saw the message that I sent him and then blocked me . How can this possibly happen?

    • well the chances are that he has a malware that is key logging him so for pc try malwarebytes and avast and for cellular devices a virus/malware flash would be recommended. you can google how to and where to get these …good luck with the problem

    • It’s almost impossible to say. Since he’s travelling using open hotspots improperly come to mind, as do keyloggers and/or malware on his computer.

  13. well once a hacker has your actual pc they can do anything include keylogging which happened to me recently but i used avast antivirus and malwarebytes and they got him very quickly due to the fact that i run quick scans before using my pc daily and once a week run full scans…note that these are the free version that i use and they work even better when purchased…

  14. Hi, My email accounts connected to Facebook disappear! Totally. Deleted! This has happened to my last two Facebook accounts. I don’t use my real birthday nor my real phone number. Is this the cause? I’ve actually decided not to use Facebook again.

  15. Hi. We have a confirmation that our email has been hacked. The info in those emails was shared through another person’s email account. Is there a way we can show that we were hacked and who actually did the hacking? This relates to a big lawsuit, and the opposing side is using hacking tactics to obtain intel.
    Many thanks.

  16. Is my facebook being hacked? I usually have 99+ unread messages and on (other )messages I had 79 .I logged in yesterday and all my unread fb messages were all opened ,I only had 36 unread and they opened all my(other messages ) so I immediately changed my password . And marked all unread but after I changed my password it marked” read” 3 specific messages and I would remark them “unread”and they would go back and mark them “read” but nothing else was different in my fb just that they had opened all the mesaages and kept doing so even when I changed my password.I dont know if this is a hacker or it has something to do with my laptop

  17. My facebook account has been compromised. My alternate email,but still retains my username,Hacker has been using facebook profile to scam others.Pls help. I need a facebook contact i can send email for them to have this account at least suspended for now,

  18. I believe that someone is reading my e-mail messages from their computer… Is this possible & how would I know if they are ? Is this against the law for them to do so ?…Thank you in advance for your reply…

  19. Well it’s definitely well-documented… thank you !

    I think that you should consider making your own youtube channel as you seem to be quite the tutor in your posting.

    (No sarcasm intended – only compliment)

  20. Hi Leo, I hope you can help me. I saw a nude email that was sent from my husbands email to one of his contacts through MSN. He swore up and down he didn’t send it. He claims his email for MSN was hacked. Is that possible for a nude picture to be sent of his body isf his computer/iPhone/email was hacked.

    Also I emailed the lady who he sent the picture to a week ago. I started getting phone calls yesterday telling me that he was in Kansa with another woman. Today I received an email with a plane ticket confirmation that was purchased by the woman he sent a picture to, to go to Kansas at the same time he was there for work. I emailed her back. She told me she did not see him in Kansas nor did she receive a picture of his penis. she said her email was hacked and the ticket was fake. Is this possible? It all came from her email.

  21. My email was hacked on Sept. 12, 2014. The hacking involved changing my user name to a derogatory name. I only know of two individuals who would do this, but of course can’t prove it. Now, I find out that my Facebook password was changed two days later on Sept 14, but not by me. Is there a way to find out what the password was changed to? I would like to know if the same derogatory name was used there as well, which will connect the two incidents, although it’s circumstantial. We have not had our personal information stolen, as there’s been no evidence of identity theft. We do have securities set on our machine as well, but this is a unique situation, as it seems the goal of this hacking is to harass. Any help in figuring out if I can track the hacking to a specific IP address?

    • There is no way to find out what an account’s password *is*, you can only reset it to regain control. An IP address won’t help you – I have several articles on that. The only way is to get the authorities involved, if you can.

      • I did that and it didn’t remember it.
        I can’t get my password to work on anything .My facebook and games pop in for a few days then pops out again I sill have them in my apps but I can’t access them .

  22. facebook did not help their coustomer like me becouse my facebook account hacked and created fake one so how i get my passward know to log my account ooooowchhhhhh

  23. I suddenly saw a popup message saying that a new device had connected to my computer. It didnt give me the option to accept or not. Since then I have had buzzing noise going on and off on the pc and when I was on MS Word typing a resume at one point all my resume started to delete (had to switch pc off to avoid losing it all). Its been making strange sounds since and ocassionally the curser is changing shape etc. Has someone hacked into my computer. I have McAfee Anti-Virus Plus. Starting to think it is a useless thing to have?

  24. I don’t know how this could have happened and hope that maybe you culd shed some light on it. Two individual accounts – my husbands email address and my facebook account both hacked into simultaneously. There is no link whatsoever between the two accounts. His email was hacked into and his contact list exported then deleted off his account. I received an email (my own address) supposedly from him staying he was stranded abroad with no cash. The ‘reply to’ wa directed to a similarly named account on
    At the same time, my FB was hacked into – the contact email address changed to the very same email address composed by the hacker as a return address for my husbands email!!
    Do you have any ideas as to how a link could be made between the two accounts please? My facebook passord is unknown to my husband so it is not likely to be inside one of his emails either sent or received. There is no link to my husbands email address on my facebook either online or by PM’s. Any ideas would be gratefully received.

  25. Is is possible that my Facebook,telephone number,and email address are all transferred to another android phone by a hacker..My last location session on android Facebook was located in Kingsworth Texas yesterday..This morning my location session was in Gladesworth Texas..I’ve never been to Texas..Now I can’t access my account at all even though I changed my password yesterday..Any suggestions?

    • It’s possible that a hacker has gained access to your account and is traveling around and using it. It would have nothing to do with an Android phone. A hacker could access the account from any smartphone, tablet or computer. It’s also possible that you are making a mistake with your password after changing it yesterday, and that’s why you can’t get in. Your ISP is the entity that would show as the location for your last session – that could be miles away from you. For instance, I live in Idaho and my location often shows as Kalispell Montana which is where my ISP’s servers are located.

      So the first thing you should do is simply try to recover your password. Here’s a good article on that:

  26. Leo’s comment on September 19 from last year begins: “There is no way to find out what an account’s password *is*, you can only reset it to regain control.”

    If this is true, can you explain what might have happened in my case? A few days ago, I discovered a pending friend request that I never sent on Facebook to a profile that was clearly fake (I reported it to Facebook and it was gone the next day). I also immediately changed my password, but after researching the difficulty of hacking Facebook, I decided that I needed to reset it again to ensure that my new password was nearly impossible to break using a laptop and standard hacking techniques. I assumed that my account was hacked, but I always had control over the password. (I didn’t think to check to see what devices were logged into the account, which might not have shown a hacker anyway, if he wasn’t currently logged in). I have no idea how long this pending request was on my account, but the profile seemed to have been created in January, so it could have been nearly three months. Yet if I was hacked, the friend request was the only change on my account, a change that I might never have noticed since I rarely send out friend requests and have not once in 8 years checked to see what requests I still have pending.

    As someone being cyberstalked, I can imagine that my stalker was either using access to my Facebook account for information and left the profile as a nasty Easter egg for me to discover so that I’d know he’d been watching me or he left it as a backwards friend request (he seems delusional and thinks that we’re having an affair that needs to be kept secret from my husband). Yes, I’ve reported this to the police, but I’m still anxious to know how it was done. I suppose he could have guessed my old password, which wasn’t nearly as strong as I’d imagined. He might also have used cookies at an open hot spot, but I can’t recall the last time I brought my laptop any place with open wifi where he could have predicted I’d be.

  27. Dear Sir.

    My laptop was stolen a few weeks ago and I had not logged out my mail – it is possible to know if the mail is still active on the laptop?


    • The first thing you should do when your computer is stolen is to change the password and recovery information on your email account(s), and as a precaution on all accounts that have a login (Amazon, EBay, PayPal, Facebook, Twitter and especially Banks and other financial institutions). You can get an idea if you see emails which are marked as read, but whoever is logged into that account can mark them unread, so there’s no way to be absolutely sure if that person is reading your mails.

  28. I went into my computer today to log into facebook, when I got to the facebook page it had already had someones email and password typed in as if they were the last ones who signed in on my computer. I clicked log in just to see and its of a woman who I have never met, seen or even heard of. The only ones who have ever used my computer has been my husband and I. I have a password on this computer, so my question is how is this possible? What could be going on?

    • That’s really strange. Normally, the only way that can happen is for someone to physically or remotely access your computer and log on. This shouldn’t be possible to do through Facebook according to the symptoms you describe. In other words, this doesn’t look like a Facebook hack as it was her Facebook account open on your browser, but it appears to be a computer hack.

  29. I usually leave my PC on and remain signed in to Facebook and my yahoo email. The other day I was accidentally logged out of FB but because I hadn’t had to log in for a few weeks I forgot my password and had to create new one. If this happens in future, is there any way to “find” my password on the PC itself? (whether after I’ve logged out or if I’m in the account?)

  30. My girlfriend is receiving messages on facebook from an unknown user, who seems to block her after sending them. The odd part about this, is that these messages she is receiving are containing information that she has only talked to me about over call, text or with her friends over Facebook. Is there a way to tell if someone has hacked into one of our messengers? or to obtain ISP information from the blocked user, and find out where these messages are coming from?

    • The thing to do is to go through all your accounts and change your password and security information. If you have a suspicion that you have been hacked it’s the quickest and safest thing to do .

  31. someone has hacked my Facebook id n he is sending a bad word to girl i want to know the ip address of that person it was hacked today 7.30 IST. can i get the persons ip address plz

  32. My ex had pictures of her that were sent to a giu she was talking to out of state. To this day, she claims that the person hacked her phones photos, hacked her email, and sent himself the pictures of her. Can this be done and if so how difficult is it from an average person? Thank you for your help.

  33. Could you tell me if your computer has been taken in as evidence since it has been hacked and moved to a new location will the hacker be able to locate the computer and get back into it to delete stuff.

  34. Could and would Facebook hack my email account? Strangest thing… I opened a FB acct with a specific business gmail address (below) and I am getting “suggested friends” of names that I have written to on a completely different personal gmail account. I have never given FB access to the personal gmail account and have never received these “suggestions” on a previous FB account. Why would they hack me and then flaunt it in my face?

    • Facebook would not hack your account. They don’t need to. They provide the account for you. They created it, they don’t need to hack it.

      Don’t worry about the fact that Facebook is really good at finding people you know. That’s the service that Facebook provides and they are very good at it. Just simple things like your IP address, or your business zipcode, or things you type and like could be giving them a clue.

    • “Could and would Facebook hack my email account?” – No and no. On mobile, Facebook asks for permission to access your contacts but it’s entirely optional, on both computers and mobile – and the company certainly wouldn’t hack your email account were you to deny permission. Beyond that, it’s all about who you’re friends with, who they’re friends with, how many friends you, have in common and whatever other data you choose to provide (education and employment history, places lived, etc., etc.). That data is then crunched by a series of surprisingly complex algorithms to predict which people you’re likely to know. The process is uncannily accurate sometimes, but there’s nothing sinister about it. It’s just math.

  35. My sister emailed me saying I got hacked. In the email that she forward I noticed that it had my email name but not the same @server.
    Was I hacked or my sister?

  36. Nicole- 6/10/16 7:40 P.M.
    Hello Leo. I’ve been reading your comments to the questions. How do I keep my computer safe? How do I prevent it from cybersecurity, identity theft, hackers, geeks, freeks, genius, viruses, and more? Can you let me know. My major problem is that I have to share this computer with my parents.

    My dad uses it for work and to look into his mail.

    My mom just uses it to look in her mail, and delete some of her old mail. Me on the other hand, I have my own email address and I’ve been looking online for a husband. I’m interested in marriage. But, I haven’t had any luck. A lot of those online sites want photos so you can get matched with someone. And I don’t know how to send a photo. But, I still want to prevent hackers and identity thief.
    I would really appreciate it if you can help me keep the computer safe. I don’t want anything strange or bizarre happening on this computer. That’s why safety is important.

  37. I wasn’t a notification on Facebook when I hit the notification it sent me to a link of a friend of mine that actually was a friend of mine on Facebook when I clicked on the notification it sent me over to Google Play to download an app in which I did once I downloaded the app I installed it and I also was told that all my friends were receiving notifications to download the app I believe that it’s told my friends list to you think my Facebook got hacked

  38. Hi I came across messages that were sent to my husbands facebook account by another woman.He swears both their accounts must of been hacked. Can a hacker change the dates on messages?? They went back a few months.

    • Anyone who is accepted as a “friend” in your husband’s account could send him messages. They would then go to his account without his involvement at all as his account is simply receiving. It’s unlikely the dates could be changed. The real issue here is trust and that’s not a technical problem.

  39. One day I was just searching the web & eBay & somebody started typing messages to me right n front of my face on my iPhone. I did not understand how or why this was going on. Later they asked me to share my location & as I was on eBay, they started typing over the type I was reading. I was so confused. I immediately turned off my location & was very disturbed by this. How is this possible & what can I do to prevent it again n the future? Thank u & God bless… Ali

  40. hello , I m so frustrated. at social media and the truth behind real people these days. what is hack ING anyway. and who does that anyway. and why put someone they care about in a bamboozle situatiom

  41. I don’t need to find out IF I was hacked as I KNOW I have and who. I had to put fraud alert on e-mail with phone company as this person took my picture off my FB. and put it on porno site which is still out there. I therefore am having a problem resetting my password on my I phone, I pad air my desk top and laptop I’m 65 I cannot afford to pay for help as I’m going through a divorce partially for all these men someone put me on and GOD ONLY knows as I could no longer look and delete . I cannot get people off messenger I did FB but all these mean nasty deceitful people are still on messenger after hitting block. This has really been a nightmare and has caused so much stress and anxiety I feel like I’m going to have a breakdown and have to go see my doctor. He suggested I stop using it but it is my only means to reach friends in different states and countries. Since I am going thru a divorce I am living on my income ONLY $7000. A year. So I don’t know where to go or how as I have read instructions but guess I’m just to upset to comprehend ! Only can be reached by phone or text .!!
    Thanks for listening anyway. Just can’t afford.
    Sincerely, {Name removed}
    {email removed}. I will not change that as that is one part of why I’m being attacked ! Pretty sad to be in this situation and no one to help from FB to get everyone off messenger and I think ONLY THINK I have rid all but family on FB but tried to on Facebook I hit BLOCK. But they are still there staring at me

  42. My boyfriend got an email stating suspicious activity on his facebook. When he opened up facebook it had my information someone deleted his number and added mine even tho my number isn’t on facebook. How is this possible? How can I prove to him I didn’t do it.

    • This could be done by someone who knows both you (they know your phone number) and your boyfriend. It would be someone who either knows the password to his account, or your boyfriend has a password which is easy to guess. The first thing he should do is change his password and check to see if the account recovery information is his. If any other email addresses of phone numbers show up, he should delete them. He should also note what those are, because it’s likely they belong to the hacker.
      If he can still get into his account, he can skip step 1.

      There’s no way to prove it wasn’t you.

  43. I do not have agoogle acct I will be happy to donate via paypal. The last few weeks the name of a UK charity for animals, I paypal donated to, and phone called. HOW could her e-mail address —-…org appear on my PC,…. as a optional e-mail address for me to use????
    ( ie when I went to a web page to get work information, )as i started to type in the first letter of my yahoo e-mail ;
    as BOTH of my normal e-mail addresses appeared as an option;
    a THIRD OPTIONAL e-mail address ( the name of a girl of a UK charity I sent funds to and she said she e-mailed me thru microsoft outlook but I Never got it!
    Her name e-mail popped up as third optional e-mail, though which do you want to use, BUT
    as thou it was a another person using my pC and that was the option e-mail address. BUT only I have access to my acct. THAT I KNOW OF!!

  44. I just have a simple question i think someone hacked my Facebook account but it shows my location every time is on. How is that possible??

    • It’s not something I’d count on if you could. If you think you’re hacked, and you can still log in, CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD and lock down the account.

    • No. This is an over-zealous warning from Google that — honestly — is quite annoying. All it means is that at some point in the path your email travels it’s not encrypted. That’s all.

  45. Ok. I am loosing my mind. I’ve went thru 3 fones. They’ve all been conprimised.i k ow who did it but can’t prove it yet. My emails,Facebook,Google+,and Facebook Messenger all have been hacked. One fone scared me. I was sitting with 2 people in my home,a relatively quiet night. All of a sudden I cud hear a strange noise. Know that my SIMcarx is in my bfs cell at this time ok. Now Iook down at the cell and pick it up and my nieces number came upas if she was ok the fone,I say “HELLO?HELLO?” As normal ppl do when someone is on the fone and talking.. .I put the fone to my ear and listen. I almost pooped my pants. It was playing back the conversation the 3 of us had 2 minutes prior. Like,GEEEEEEZ. I freaked right out.
    Today I’m TRYING to get Facebook Messenger back up and running . I’ve been totally not able to do this. Even with a new email addy. So I try to load my PASSWORD into messenger which does have my bfs name in it with numbers…and HIS name AND Messenger came up.WHY???? HE hasn’t been in my fone,you need my code and fingerprint.i do alot of research on things and I’ve learned alot about cell phones and yes I know it can be cracked and nobody is entirely safe but the buck hard to stop somewhere. Is this the hacker/stalker doing this? He’s never used my cell for FB OR MSGER. I google the cramp outta google to find answers and I don’t believe my bf had a thing to do with this cuz he knows I’m trying to get proof of the idiot stalking me and I’ll be so happy if does time But he is ruining my life. I have every right to have a Facebook account n messenger. How do I get proof of this guy is doing this? I made a bunk FB acct to talk to my niece and only 3 ppl knew about it. So one day I got messenger to talk to her. She was not o line at the time. I open messenger and this guy AND his computer -geek cousin was there!!!! It’s my only proof that he’s the one doing it.i need help and the police are redundant. I’m tired of this guy,I’m so emotional lately and feel like I can’t do anything on my cell cuz I’m being watched cuz of that recorded conversation and researched it and yes it comes up as being hacked. Gonna check again cuz I’m mow beyond seeing red,and I am as mad as a hatter.
    Thank you for your time

  46. Hey Leo,
    Odd Facebook email notifications behavior??
    I get these Notification Emails from Facebook, telling me of activity; this is normal I assume.
    The issue I find puzzling; clicking on a link in any of these emails to further read the Notification, opens IE to a Facebook page that’s already logged in.
    Does this seem right to you?
    Why is my Email Client, seemingly…. ‘auto-logging’ me in before I even open the page?
    If someone in…. “Timbuctoo” read my email, could they be getting into my account?

    I have previously, on two occasions, gotten notices from Facebook that someone in Texas has tried to login to my account… secure your account.
    Both times I changed my password, but if someone is getting in by just reading my mail, what good is a password?

    • In many cases the link in an email contains URL information which will log you in to an account. That’s what appears to be happening in this case. That’s also how password reset links work.

  47. A concern I have is about some sort of man in the middle by Proxy server or spoofing attempt or attack may have happened to one specific account I visit online. As recommended by the site, I use Google Auth for 2FA before accessing my personal account details on this particular site. For some reason, Cox Communications is always identified as the device or location in the next town. So why does it verify my ISP but not my device or the town I’m at when logging in? Yahoo, FaceBook, Github, Apple and Gmail authentication protocol consistently detects the same town I am in when loggin in and specific IP on my computer and phone. I have a secure router, do not use a proxy server or VPN.
    I haven’t seen any information on 2FA or any form of authentication using the internet service providers IP address. Just need to know if this Is this how it should work? Or am I being spyed on or re-directed to a hacker?
    I am also missing confirmation of important financial transactions done on this website. Contacted their Tech support. They did not see it on their end until I showed them actual screen shots. They said if I was able to log in then everything is fine. Suggested to contact my ISP if I’m still concerned. Maybe I should switch this service? better safe than sorry. any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

  48. Thank you 🙂 i just fix my Kubuntu. It was slow, and even I use bleachbit, it was still the same. Finally acording to your writing, I did just install marware removal for kubuntu through command, and now it is really fast ! thanks 🙂

  49. Hi Leo,
    Over the last few weeks I have a lot of emails from different sources wanting me to agree to updates in their privacy policies
    and wish to know if they are legitimate.
    I suspect they may be due to the recent Google breaches but wanted to be sure they are legitimate and not a clever hacking ploy. They have to date come from organisations I deal with.
    I would also like to know if my practice of not logging off from many accounts such as Facebook, Google, email accounts etc for convenience is a bad practice and making it easier for hackers?
    Cheers and thanks in advance.

  50. Is there a danger in having two Administrator accounts on a computer? Sometimes I’ll be using one and get a message that I need to switch users and close the other. This happens mostly when closing or switching apps or websites. It almost feels as if there is someone else using the other Administrator account.

  51. Hi

    A couple of weeks ago I started receiving bounceback emails from outlook stating undeliverable and contacts replying saying they couldn’t open th email form me and to resend. I could see the emails in my sent items and they are all typical spam emails. Nothing further has happened since then and I can still log into my account. I am trying to change all my details but it’s providing to be difficult with outlook! What do you think has happened? Is it hack or has my email just been spoofed? They email was from my email address and looked as tho it had come from me

  52. Alton Sisson this is my account my ex has hacked it changed the email and password on that account it’s now under {email address removed} she’s also has pictures of one of my debit cards my picture ID and she might try to use that to keep that account how can I get this account deleted I’ve tried multiple times opening up new account and they keep deleting my new account.

    • It’s unclear what account you’re talking about, but this sounds like you might need to contact the authorities. It’s not something that we can help you with.

  53. Hi,

    Some of the issues listed are close to the issue I’m having, but not quite. I have been getting reports from my employees that they got an email that looked like it came from me. It has my name, but the email is incorrect. It’s a difference email each time, and sometimes is only 1 letter off from my actual email. The message is usually the same. It asks the employee to “do me a favor, and get 100 gift cards worth $25 each for a vendor event I have.” And them instructs them to scratch the code off the back and send a picture of it. Another one I just found out about is an email went to HR with my name but not my actual address, asking them to respond with a copy of my W2 because I lost it. We have external tagging turned on, so any email coming from outside the company is flagged as an external source. Luckily no one has fallen for it yet, but the amount of times this is happening now is ridiculous. And then today, I found out that the message went to one of our dealers, which is not even an internal email address. Always looks like it comes from me, but if you click on my name in the email to expand the address, it’s not mine. Any thoughts?

    • That’s not necessarily a sign of your email account being hacked. It’s very easy for someone to spoof your email address and send email which looks like it’s from you. Unfortunately, since all they need to know is your name and email address, there’s not much you can do to stop it. In your case it sounds like they are using your address to commit fraud, so in you shoes, I’d go to the police about it. It also might be a good idea to send an email to your contacts warning them to watch out for this.
      Someone’s Sending from My Email Address! How Do I Stop Them?!

  54. I tried to login to my Mac several times and it didnt work. I know I was using the right user name and password. After about 45 minutes it let me log in. What is weird when I opened it up it had a ring yang symbol first and that is never there. Do you think someone hacked and then changed it back so I could get in?

  55. Hello. Thank you for this article and all the help you’re giving to us! I have been having a problem with my Yahoo account, and have changed my password with no resolution. I would sometimes (a few times a week) get a returned mail message in Yahoo, saying that a message I sent “to XYZ via XYZ” could not be delivered. The XYZ in this case is the business name of a known contact. The past two days, I’m receiving 50+ of these messages, all with the same “sent to XYZ via XYZ.” Could it be that HIS email account has been hacked? It’s apparently more than my own account as changing my password didn’t solve it.

  56. Someone claiming from Microsoft saying that my computer is likely being hacked and Microsoft is no longer covering certain things because my computer does not have the specific upgrades that it needs and they would like me to purchase two Google Play cards for $100 each and install them into my computer so that they can update and fix my computer but that sounds very suspicious. To me that sounds like a scam. And I do notice that my computer does runs slow a lot or at least most of the time. I don’t know what to do

  57. On my husband’s messenger account, the times that it shows he was logged in are from our home ip address. He says that he doesn’t go on messenger anymore that he was hacked. If he was hacked, would it have our home ip address?

  58. I use Facebook almost everyday and I noticed something weird.
    One of my friend’s names started showing up with the first letter looking different. The Capital ‘G’ looks as though there is another letter stamped on top of it. It only happens with the one friend’s name.
    Is that a hack?

  59. Hi there,

    My email started getting subscribed to a rather embarrassing dating website, but this website requires email confirmation in order to fully enlist. I started getting emails from members on this website directly into my inbox. I checked out the website, saw it was using my email address as a login, did the whole forgot password routine to get myself logged in to it. On the website profile I found all my specs, height weight age etc. No photos-thank baby jesus..Some info was spot on, others was a little off. But a variation of my nickname was my user name which was the most disturbing part. I use gmail, and there are no signs that my account had any suspicious activity since I’ve opened the account. I looked at the recent usage, and no unknown locations or devices shown. How could this have happened? Can a hacker confirm subscription to a website such as this without accessing my email account? Do hackers just troll people and do this kind of lame sh*t? Or does this sound more like someone trying to get revenge?

    • I vote for the last option. I think it was your logging in to the site that confirmed the email address. (I advise NEVER doing that.) Basically do what you can to close/invalidate the account and ignore it forever after.

  60. I knew something happened when my profile on google changed. I also kept getting the feeling someone was watching me. I was on bing search bar and someone was directing me to articles thru the scroll bar and talking to me about what they could do to me at the end of the articles they were directing me to. Also I started taking pictures and started seeing peoples faces in the backgrounds, which I found out today, they were faces of known hackers. I seen them all when I started looking up hackers on the internet. I’m still scared. I actually thought someone was in my house doing this

  61. Hello,

    I left a fairly frank and agitated review on Glassdoor about my former employer. This went unnoticed for a year until they read it and tried to report it as fake, to which I confirmed to Glassdoor it was not.

    A few days later, after never having a security incident on my Google account, I received an email about a security incident in which my account was logged into from another device.

    I have two-factor authentication enabled on my Google account, and changed my password straight away. I logged out of my Google account and all other social media before leaving my former employer.

    She’s a really nasty piece of work so I wouldn’t put it past her to hack my account.

    I guess my question is, can I prove it was her, how did she do it, and am I now secure?

    • To the best of my knowledge unless she left traces in the account itself, there’s no way to prove what or how she did it. Two-factor and a new password should have you as safe as you can be.

  62. Greetings ladies and Gentlemen ..

    I’m really desperate here i need your help I was hacked on my Facebook account I’m using Gmail and I’ve been hacked by someone who is using Yahoo …That person changed my email address and he is using his/her Yahoo mail ..please good people if anyone here can help please shout out ..i have important information on that account that can cost me my future as a high school student ..

    please help me available on WhatsApp and on phone

    {contact information removed}

  63. Hoping you can help me.

    I was daily receiving emails from Facebook saying someone from an unrecognised device had logged in to my Facebook. Now I never click on the link to secure my account, instead I would go straight to Facebook to check and I would receive a notification that someone had attempted to log in from an unrecognised device using two factor authentication (which the number never came to my email). I added an extra email as my primary, and saw the Authentication number was being emailed there. I totally removed my regular email, and for the first time I didn’t receive the FB notifications.
    Does this mean my email has been hacked, and if so what can I do? At no point was there any suspicious activity on my fb account despite people apparently logging in from different states every night.

    • Good on you for not clicking on the link. Hackers often send out Phishing emails with fake links. It’s not a sign that your email has been hacked. It just means someone has tried and failed to log in to your Facebook attack. Changing the email address associated with your Facebook account would stop those warning messages from being sent to you but a good password, 14 or more characters, in itself should be sufficient to keep your account secure. Second factor authentication gives you even more protection.

      I would guess that those emails were really from Facebook since the emails stopped and the warning email also came to your alternate email account when you changed the email used to log into Facebook.

  64. A friend alerted me that the name in the “From” field in an email that I sent was not my name, although the email address was accurate. However, when she went to respond, the “To” name remained the bogus one that had appeared, but the associated email address was changed to an unknown one. I assumed I’d been hacked, so followed the instructions on the Yahoo site, (deleted the changed name and email address and changed my password). I also called AT&T who did a short investigation and confirmed that I should be OK. Now having read Ask Leo’s 7 instructions, I’m proceeding to follow those.

  65. Hello i need advice i will pay anything

    I had some people over one guy used my computer for 5 mins when i woke up next morning fb told me i changed my password on my computer 13 hours ago.

    They Left my house 15 hours ago meaning what ever they did they got access to my computer went hom and changed my passcode on fb

    Now what did they do that i dont know. What i do know is i spend 20 k a day on fb ads an d i have a million dollar pixel now dud they download or export my pixel i dont know please help

  66. Hi, not sure this totally related to the article, but I couldn’t find one that was totally on point. My situation is, my thermostat, garage door and cameras are wifi connected, if someone hacks my wifi, could they control any of those items or see through the cameras?

      • Other than changing my password (which I did 20+ characters long with numbers, letters and symbols), what else can I do? I downloaded a program to show me who’s on my network, but the garage door keeps opening in the middle of the night (3 times now).

        • The single most important thing to do is change the Wi-FI password, and make sure your router/WI-Fi access point is NOT providing an open “guest” network.

          Honestly for random garage door openings I look first at something simple like someone nearby having the same remote code. You might reach out to the opener manufacturer and ask them about it, if it’s possible someone nearby has a remote that could open your door, and what to do about it. I’d also look for intermittent shorts in the wires leading to the push button on the wall, if you have one.

          • when you hear the sound of hooves, think horses not zebras. lol. The door opener would be my first thought (I did set the remote lock (and it opened on it’s own) so it’s not a neighbor or errant remote inside the home), however, the last time, there was no notification on my phone that it had opened (I have it set to notify me anytime it open or closes). That made me wonder if someone had somehow cleared it before I knew the door was open (at 3:15am) as my phone is also connected to the wifi. And if it’s a short, why only in the middle of the night? I’ve tried asking the companies tech support, but need to figure out how to get it elevated to someone who can actually answer those questions. Thanks for your help.

  67. Well, it may be too late for me, but someone was logged into my FB account when I went to my security settings. It suggested I change my password, and when I tried, it was supposed to send a link to my email (attached to the FB account). Tried several ways, including writing in the “NO” box (“was this helpful” box appearing after I tried) and have not heard anything from FB. I could no longer get into my FB account. Now, created a new account (that wouldn’t let me use my name), lost my ‘friends’ and in trying to secure the new account, saw that it was again logged into (active) with someone from Dunnellon FL. Wouldn’t let me choose 3 friends, etc. to secure the account.


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