The free email systems that we have come to be so reliant on seem to be facing some troubled waters. Last week, many Gmail account holders suffered because of the outage at Google. Yesterday, Yahoo mail was attacked yet again and many accounts compromised. This means our emails are not safe and it’s important we know when it has occurred. We also need to know what we need to do when something like this happens. Firstly, do not sit smug in the belief that our email accounts are safe. Despite the best efforts from companies like Yahoo and Google, accounts do get hacked! Here’s what to do next:

1. If you feel your account has been hacked, the first thing to do is to go through the information available on the official site of your email provider. That will give you instructions on what you have to do after your account has been compromised.

2. You also have the option of e-mailing your account provider who could help you restore your email account. Another essential step is to alert colleagues, friends and family that your account has been hacked and that they should not respond to calls or emails being made under your stolen identity.

3. Check the personal settings in your account as hijackers can create forwarding polices to the contacts that you have stored in your account. This could help them access all emails that you had got previously–including personal messages and bank statements.

4. Changing your user ID and password for all the accounts that you maintain on various sites is a precaution never too late to take.