If you answer yes, we recommend that you act immediately, by following our guidelines below, and then proceed to our Report, Recover and Reinforce sections for further assistance. Remember, a hacked email account can affect your finances, career, privacy, safety and reputation.

Some Immediate Action Steps to Take

  • Change and create a new, strong password for your account. Learn how from ConnectSafely.org.
  • If you used the same password for other accounts, it is important to change the password on those accounts as well.
  • Review and update/change your account security questions. Consider using the “Privacy” features to limit who can see your posts and photos.
  • Alert your contacts that your account was hacked and to ignore suspicious postings.
  • If available, always enable a two-step/factor verification – which requires an additional code to log in.
  • Report the issue to the social networking site:
  • If necessary, disable and create a new account.


Reporting cybercrime incidents to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)is very important! The more national reporting data that is collected, the better the chance law enforcement has to catch the criminals and decrease online crime. Although the FBI does not resolve individual complaints directly, they will make your report available to local, state and other law enforcement partners. The FAQs about reporting can be found here. Please read the FBI/IC3 privacy policy here. (If you believe that you’ve received a phishing email, please forward the email directly to reportphishing@apwg.org.)


These resources have been gathered, selected and vetted to help simplify the process of recovering after a cybercrime incident has taken place. You may need to contact organizations outside Fraudsupport.org. Results will vary depending on your circumstances.


Once you have notified the appropriate organizations and you are on the road to recovery, it is time to reinforce your cybersecurity, using these resources and tools.

Implement Preventive Measures

  • Download our Six Steps to Better Security PDF.
  • Avoid allowing “automatic remember” username and password login prompts.
  • Turn off geotagging – that allows social media to follow and share your location.
  • Regularly check and manage your privacy settings, only sharing private information with trusted friends and family members.
  • Avoid logging into your social media accounts from an untrusted computer or device.
  • Be careful with third-party apps on your social media accounts.
  • Limit the personal information you share on social media. Personal information is often used to answer security questions. Hackers will gather your personal information and correctly guess them to gain access to your accounts!