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Three red flag signs that your Gmail may have been hacked as Google issues warning | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Google is soon set to delete millions of unused accounts – but before doing so, they’ve issued detailed guidance to check whether your account is currently safe from hackers

Beware of the below warning signs – as it could mean you have been hacked(SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Google is preparing to delete millions of Gmail accounts for security reasons – and has now warned users what they need to look out for to ensure they haven’t been hacked.

Any accounts which haven’t been used for at least two years are set to be deleted from December 1, with the tech company warning they are vulnerable to cyber-attack. They are less likely to have two-factor verification set up and will likely have older passwords which have been compromised in previous hacks.

But accounts which are being used regularly are still at risk from hackers, so Google released three of their ‘red flags’ which all users should keep an eye out for. Firstly, watch out if someone other than the account user is changing account information – such as the password or recovery phone number.

The former is easier to spot, but many won’t realise their recovery phone number has been switched. And when this happens, the hacker can take control of your email. A hacker also may wholly delete your account after they have used it to try and stop you from signing back in – or they will try to find another way to not let you back in.

Anyone who has noticed the above signs is recommended to immediately change the password to their Google account. You should also log out of any apps and sites for which you have used the same password for – and you should change the password on your Google password manager.

In fact, the tech giant released a step-by-step guide on how to review your Gmail for any suspicious activity, Metro reported. Once you have completed the below steps and are satisfied your account is safe, ensure you turn on two-step verification if you haven’t yet.

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to your Google account

  2. On the left navigation panel, select Security

  3. On the “Recent security events” panel, select Review security events

  4. Check for any suspicious activity:

    1. If you find activity that didn’t come from you: Select No, it wasn’t me. Then, follow the steps on the screen to help secure your account

    2. If you did the activity: Select Yes. If you still believe someone else is using your account, find out if your account has been hacked

  5. Next, check which devices are using your account

  6. In the security panel, click on ‘Your devices’ and select ‘Manage devices’

  7. Check for any devices you don’t recognize:

    1. If you find a device that you don’t recognize: Select Don’t recognize a device? Then, follow the steps on the screen to help secure your account

    2. If you recognise all the devices, but still believe someone else is using your account: Find out if your account has been hacked

  8. Once you have checked both your account and devices and are happy it is secure, be sure to turn on two-step verification if you haven’t already – this means that even if your password is stolen, your account should still be secure.


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