As longtime readers know, I get a lot of reports of Hotmail account theft and compromise. As Hotmail has transitioned to Outlook.com, so, to, have the questions. Every day there are reports of everything from simple password loss to email being sent “From” your email address to attempts to scam your contacts.
Depending on exactly what’s happened, the available remedies may be simple, difficult, or completely impossible: your account and everything in it might be lost forever.
I’ll review the various scenarios and direct you to related articles on Ask Leo! that cover the options for each.
If you’re like me you’ve had your Hotmail email address for years. I’ve had mine for 15 years now.
Many people who have had their Hotmail addresses for a long time find that they’re getting a lot of unwanted email in the form of spam, marketing messages from companies that they once did business with, or even messages from individuals that they no longer wish to receive.
The problem is that there really hasn’t been and isn’t such a thing as “change” when it comes to an email address. You could create a new email address, but that typically creates a new email account. That means everything associated with the old account is lost in the transition: email and contacts as well as additional services like calendars, cloud storage and other items associated with the account. Everything remains in the old account, but the new account – and email address – is starting over with a clean, and empty, slate.
When Hotmail transitioned to Outlook.com as its interface it also added the concept of “aliases”, which solves many of these problems.