How to recover a hacked or stolen Gmail account

Recently a friend told me that a friend of her son your Gmail account password had been stolen and that they were doing dirty things to him, impersonating his identity on the Internet. Sometimes it is not necessary for a Russian hacker to steal our Google account to suffer this type of extortion, and many times we only realize it when it is too late.

My Gmail password has been stolen, what do I do?

The first thing we have to keep in mind is that the Gmail password is the same one that allows us to access all Google services, not just mail. With that email account and that password we can also use other Google services. We can use third-party apps on Android, access the user's browsing and history data, enter YouTube and a thousand other stories (such as accessing bank accounts and other really ugly things).

If our Gmail account has been stolen and we are being spoofed, but we can still access our google account, the first thing we have to do is follow these 5 steps:

  • Check security from account.
  • Change the access password.
  • Access the list of devices that have used our Google account and withdraw access to all devices that we do not recognize as ours. Google keeps a record of device activity, which allows us to disconnect any PC or smartphone that has been associated with our Gmail account.

  • Access registration of apps and websites who have access to our Google account and deny access to all suspicious apps and websites.
  • Activate 2-Step Verification to increase account security.

Finally, let us remember that many password thefts come from viruses installed on our computer. Let's pass a good antivirus to make sure our team is not compromised.

How to recover a stolen Gmail account with a changed password

The problem in these situations is that the hacker also usually changes the password to access the account. You may even have changed the security questions, associated phone number, and recovery email account, completely blocking our access.

If we cannot use any of these recovery methods, then we have no choice but to fill out a small questionnaire prepared by Google to verify our identity.

Through this series of questions we will confirm that we are the true owners of the account, and we will make sure that only we access our email account and Google services.

  • What is the last password you remember (required)?
  • When was the last time (month, day and year) that you were able to access your Gmail account (required)?
  • When (month and year) did you create your Gmail account (required)?
  • What was the answer to your security question?
  • Email addresses of up to 5 contacts with whom you write regularly.
  • Name up to 4 labels.
  • What was the first recovery email you remember?
  • Name other Google products (up to 4) that you were using with your Gmail account and the approximate date you started using them (month and year).
  • Phone numbers that you may have associated with your Google account.
  • Information about how you lost access to your Google / Gmail account.

To complete this verification questionnaire we must follow the following steps:

  • We access the page of Google account recovery.
  • We enter the Gmail address and the last active password that we remember.
  • We answer all the verification questions one by one (those mentioned above with possible variants).

Once the process is completed, Google will assess our responses, and if they match the information it has stored, will allow us to change and restore our password to access Gmail.

Otherwise, we may try again by providing more accurate information.

Tips to secure our Gmail account

If we have already been victims of an attack of this type or we simply want to protect ourselves with a higher level of security, we take the following measures into consideration:

  • Change access password by a secure password of at least 9 characters with uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. It is important that we do not use this same password in any other service or website.
  • Activate the 2-step verification (if we haven't already).
  • Do not write down the password on paper notes or notebooks, or leave them in places where everyone can see them (such as a post-it on the PC screen).
  • Work from properly protected devices with antivirus, updated operating system and with periodic antimalware checks.
  • Avoid pirated software, the webs of doubtful origin and navigate with common sense.

As always, the weakest link in the security chain is always the user himself, so if we want to avoid falling prey to a robbery or hack of this type, let's at least try to make it as difficult as possible for the thief.

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