We are very much aware of email hacking these days. Hackers stealing email passwords, getting into mailboxes, zooming in and stealing important information. It is not just the spam email we have to watch for. This could be quite risky if you are the victim, because by doing so, the hackers can find out lots of personal information about you, your family, financial or career related information that you have probably shared with your near, dear or trusted ones through email, and you have no intention to share it with an unknown person that you don’t trust.
Sometimes it is also the case that your email was not hacked but you feel like it, because you experience some strange behavior of the system like – you can’t find an old email or you see an email “marked as read” that you never read!
Well, if you want to do a little investigation to find out if someone hacked your email, you can do that now in Gmail or Yahoo mail. You are probably aware by now that we all use a unique IP address when we connect to the internet. These IP addresses are now country specific, meaning if you live in Australia, your IP address will have a different numbering scheme than someone living in England. Therefore, if someone has hacked your Gmail account sitting in another country, you will be able to find that out easily. If the hacker is doing his job sitting in the same country, still you might be able to trace it with few additional steps stated below.
How to See if Your Yahoo Email Account Has Been Hacked
- Login to yahoo mail and on the top left corner of your screen you will see your profile name. Click on the little triangular menu pointer right next to your profile name and select the option “account Info”.
- Here you will be asked to enter your password. After entering password you will come to the next screen where there is several account related information that you can change or modify. Here you will see “sign-in and security” section as shown in image 2 and under that section you will see “view your recent sign-in activity”. Click on that option and another screen as shown in image 3 will launch giving you all the details of the account activity of the last few days.
- Here on this screen you can see the events and also the IP addresses that were used to log into your account. There are lot more information you will see on this screen that I have truncated in the above image to make the texts clearly visible. These IP addresses are actually the addresses that were used while logging into this email account at different times. Since the IP address we use keeps changing with time, we see so many of them listed here. But all these addresses should definitely belong to you and your ISP. If you can identify one of these addresses are not yours, then you know there was an intruder. Let’s try with the location first. On the IP address option tab as shown by the arrow key in the above image, change it to “location” by clicking on the downwards triangle. All the IP addresses will be changed to their corresponding location – country. This will give you the idea if all those locations are appropriate in terms of how you logged in to your account. For example, if you didn’t leave Australia for the last few days, then all these locations should be marked as “Australia”. But if you have left for the weekend and went to another country and logged in to your account from there, then for those corresponding days location will be different. Based on this logic, if you never left Australia and you see one instance there that says “China” for example, you know something is wrong.
- If you cannot detect any wrong doing from the location information and still you are not convinced, switch the location option back to “IP Address”. Check the 2nd number from the left “234” in my case. Check if this number is the same in all the IP addresses in the list. If you see there is one address for which this number is different, more likely you have come close to catching the intruder.
- Note down this IP address you have identified (like 3xx.2xx.5x.1x) and run a check on the following website to whom this address belongs to. Go to this web site http://whatismyipaddress.com/ip-lookupand you will see lookup IP address box as shown in the image 4 below.
- Enter the IP address in the box and hit “lookup IP Address”. This will give you the information on which ISP this IP address is registered with. If your ISP is different than the name of the ISP that will come out from this lookup trace, then you have found the host ISP the hacker belongs to. Now you know what to do! Or just contact that ISP for more information on the person who entered into your email account.
How To See if Your Gmail Account Has Been Hacked
Just login to Gmail and towards the bottom of your screen (the first screen after you login to Gmail), you will see an option called “details” as shown in image 5 below. This will launch almost a same type of pop up screen as we have seen for Yahoo with IP address list and location table. You just have to follow the same check and trace principle as we have illustrated above.
It is also worth mentioning here that, to protect your email from getting hacked, it is always better to change passwords frequently and use passwords that are difficult to break. You can protect your accounts using multi layer security. In addition, when you enter password, system will often ask if you want to save the password for next time you login so that you don’t have to type it in again. It is always better not to go for that option and save your password; this will make the job lot easier for the Hacker.