Hacked! How to rescue your online account
Anyone who obtains your password can access private information and even steal your identity. Here's what to do if someone gains access to one of your online accounts.
Help my Hotmail account has been hacked!
Because Hotmail now requires a Windows Live ID, which is also used for other Microsoft services such as Windows Live Messenger, if a hacker manages to log into your Hotmail account then your other Windows Live accounts may also be compromised. If you think someone else has access to your Live ID account, follow the Windows Live log-in instructions.
At the Windows LiveID Account Recovery Help Page you can get help for recovering your hacked Hotmail account. It asks a number of questions to help Microsoft identify you as the holder of the account. These include your IP address, ISP, the last time you successfully signed in, names of any folders you've created, contacts in your address book, subjects of old emails and your date of birth.
What to do if your PayPal account is compromised
If you notice any unauthorised PayPal transactions, PayPal recommends you report them via the PayPal Resolution Centre. PayPal will complete its investigation within 10 working days. If you can't log into your account to access the Resolution Centre, here you can report details of the unauthorised PayPal transaction.
If you'd prefer to speak directly to a person, you can contact PayPal on 0870 730 7191, or through its Dublin call centre (international rates apply) on 00353 1 436 9004.
Someone has accessed my Amazon.co.uk account
If you think your Amazon.co.uk account has been compromised, you can contact Amazon Customer Service - either by email or by getting someone to call you back.
If you can't log in to access your account, click ‘skip sign in' at the bottom of the page to go directly to the contact form.
Alternatively, telephone the online store during business hours on 0800 496 1081 for more immediate help.
My Facebook account has been hacked
Losing access to your Facebook account could make you feel quite violated: a hacker might pretend to be you and send abusive messages to all your friends. For example, one hacked Facebook member whose account was hacked told us the perpetrator "started sending my friends messages about dieting".
You should contact Facebook as soon as you know your Facebook account has been hacked. If you can no longer access the email address associated with your Facebook account, use the Facebook feedback form. You'll need to know the URL of your Facebook page such as facebook.com/yourname or facebook.com/profile.php?id=9999. Any links to your name on your friends' profile pages should reveal this.
I have a hacked eBay account!
If you lose access to your eBay account or think that unauthorised transactions have taken place, you can report eBay account theft online. At the bottom of the page, under ‘More help: getting in touch with eBay' you will find a link to Live Help, which lets you chat online to a real person to report a stolen account. There are also links for changing the password to your account and checking if your contact details have been altered. You can also phone eBay on 0844 41 43 019.
Worried about my online bank account
Banks say if you have acted with ‘reasonable care' there's no reason you won't be refunded in full if someone takes money from your account.
Increased security measure for most online banking services such as unique passcodes and automatic log-out have made it more difficult for hackers to access your account.
But you should telephone your bank immediately if you suspect that money has been stolen - for example if a malicious keylogger has picked up your password as you were typing it or you've fallen prey to a phishing email.
A phone number will be provided in the ‘Contact us' section of your bank's website. Banks may not be so forgiving if you are a repeat offender, so update your security software. For more advice, visit Bank Safe Online.
Someone has hacked Twitter
Visit the Twitter Support page for information on how to reset your password using the email address associated with your account, or to submit a support request if you can't access your email account.
If you have associated any third-party applications with your Twitter username and password, it's a good idea to revoke access to anything that looks unfamiliar to avoid the account being compromised again.
Help my Gmail account has been hacked
Your Google Mail login is used across other Google services, which means losing access to your account could prove disastrous. You can check to see if someone has been using your Google Mail account by clicking ‘details' next to ‘last account activity' at the bottom of the Google Mail page. This lists the last few IP addresses the account was accessed from, the location (such as UK) and the time and date your email was last accessed.
If you want to safeguard your account for the future you can go into your account settings and add a mobile number. Google can text you a code if you ever need to recover your account. If you can't access your account at all, contact Google via Google Accounts Help. You'll need to prove that you own the Google Mail account by telling Google the month and year you first created it and other Google products (such as Blogger or YouTube) associated with your Google account.
My iTunes account has been compromised
Should your iTunes account be compromised, you can find information on how to change your password at iTunes Store Support. If you can't do so because someone has changed the email address associated with the account, or if you think unauthorised purchases were made using your credit or debit card, you should contact iTunes Store Customer Service. Someone should get back to you within 24 hours.
Yahoo Mail has been hacked
If you're having trouble accessing your Yahoo Mail account, because it somebody appears to have changed the password, visit Yahoo Password Helper. Here you'll find an easy, step-by-step process to reset the password via a link sent to a secondary email address associated with your account.
If you can no longer access the secondary address, you'll find a link to contact customer support or you can go directly to Yahoo Account Services Help Form. You could also try ringing Yahoo's London office on 020 7131 1000 and select the option to speak to Customer Care.