It is becoming more and more common for email addresses especially free web mail addresses to get stolen by another person. Those addresses are then used for spam or fraud such as phishing schemes.
Targeted accounts include hotmail.com, msn.com, live.com, yahoo.com and gmail.com. Sometimes if you are lucky you might be able to get your password back with the forgot my password option or by calling support. Other times you have to start fresh with a new address. Microsoft free accounts are hardest to get back, their paid accounts can be easier to get back.
The thefts sometimes send out spoof emails trying to get passwords and use spoof web sites to get your password. Sometimes they simply guess at your password or your forgot your password secret question.
To try to avoid getting your email stolen:
- Make you’re password hard to guess. Use special characters or punctuation, lower case and capital letters, and numbers.
- Avoid single word passwords
- Make sure your forgot your password option is something only you know and cannot be easily guessed.
- Use different passwords at different sites.
- Be careful where you enter your password.
- If you have your own computer, try to have both your email, and contacts backed up locally on your computer so you can be up and running if you need a new account.
- Check your email often to make sure it is working.
Be Careful and Good Luck!