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/it 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/it 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 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.
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.
No. Just … no
For the record, the answer is no.
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 probably illegal.
- It’s likely immoral.
- Hacking into an account destroys trust. (As it should, in my opinion.)
- Revenge is stupid and childish.
- You could be lying to me. If you pose as an account owner, I have no way to confirm it.
What if you have a legitimate request?
I still cannot help you.
I do not have access to the information needed to prove you have the right to get into the account, and I do not have the technology to retrieve or reset your password. Only the service does. Only Microsoft can reset a Hotmail or other Microsoft account password. Only Google can do it for Google accounts, and only Facebook can do it for Facebook. You get the idea.
Go directly to the service in question, and only the service in question, for all your account recovery options.
Legitimate requests with no available support
What if you have a legitimate request, but the service involved provides no means to act on it?
That’s typical for free services. All I can say is, you get what you pay for. If there is no supported way to get legitimate access to the account, 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 an extreme case, these services may listen to lawyers and officers of the court, if you have the legal standing to go that route. You might try that approach if it’s worth it to you.
The real solution
There are several ways to avoid getting yourself into this situation.
- Secure your account to ensure it doesn’t get hacked.
- Add appropriate recovery information so you can get back into it should something happen.
- Back up the information in your account so as not to lose anything important if you ever do lose access to the account.
- Consider a paid account with real support available 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 probably illegal.