I think my boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse is cheating on me. I want to hack into their email/instant message/Facebook/other account and find out what he/she/they is doing behind my back. Can you help me?
Can you get me the password for *****@hotmail.com/yahoo.com/facebook.com? This person’s been saying really bad things about me and I want to hack in and teach him/her/them a lesson.
I’ve lost the password for *****@hotmail.com. Could you please find it and send it to *****@hotmail.com? It’s really my account. Honest.
A family member has passed away, and I’d like to retrieve whatever was in his/her/their email account before it gets deleted for lack of use. But I don’t have the password. Can you get it for me?
These are oversimplifications of many variations of the same basic question.
People want to hack into other people’s accounts for a variety of reasons. Some, such as the last one, sound perfectly legitimate. Others, not so much. And others are just blatant attempts at theft, harassment, or revenge.
What’s really scary is that I get these requests every day.
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No. Just … no
For the record, the answer is no.
- I cannot and will not retrieve a password for you.
- I cannot and will not hack an account for you.
- I cannot and will not help you hack some account.
I have many reasons for taking this position, but the biggest reason is very simple:
Hacking into someone else’s account without their permission is wrong.
I can’t make it any clearer than that.
However, being wrong is not the only reason for my position.
- It’s unethical.
- It’s very likely illegal.
- It’s almost certainly immoral.
- It destroys trust.
- Revenge is stupid and childish.
- You could be lying to me.
- I can’t do it.
What if you have a legitimate request?
I still cannot help you.
I don’t have access to what you need to prove you have the right to access the account. I don’t have the technology to get or set your password. Only the service does. Only Microsoft can reset a Microsoft account password; only Google can do it for Google accounts; only Facebook can do it for Facebook. You get the idea.
Go to the service in question, and only the service in question, for account recovery options.
Legitimate requests with no available support
What if you have a legitimate request, but the service provides no means to act on it?
First: that’s typical for free services. All I can say is, you get what you pay for.
Second: if there is no supported way to get access, or the supported ways don’t work, you can’t get access to the account. Period. You are out of luck.
If it was your account you’re trying to hack back into, you’ve probably lost the account forever.
Anyone who says they can reset or retrieve your password for you should not be trusted.
In extreme cases, these services may listen to lawyers and officers of the court, if you have the legal standing and can afford to go that route. You might try that approach if it’s worth it to you.
The real solution
Don’t let yourself into this situation.
- Secure your account to keep it from getting hacked.
- Add recovery information so you can get back in if it does, and keep the recovery information up to date.
- Back up the information in your account so you won’t lose anything if you do lose the account.
- Consider a paid account with real support for when problems arise.
Hacking is never the answer
Be it your account or someone else’s, hacking is never the answer.
And don’t even bother asking me.
A note on comments
Because of the subject matter, this article attracts comment spam from individuals offering their “hacking services”. We proactively remove those comments within 24-48 hours, but if you see such a comment, ignore it. Chances are it’s a scam. Even if it isn’t, it’s at least unethical and illegal.