What to Do if Hackers Steal Your Online Accounts (NY Times)

Earlier today I tweeted about a great article on the New York Times tech blog What to Do If Hackers Steal Your Online Accounts.

In hindsight, I think the advice in the article is very practical and relevant to just about everyone, thus making it worth sharing via a SLAW post with a far wider audience than just those that follow me on Twitter.

Over the years I have received more than few panicked calls from lawyers that have had their email accounts hacked, and more recently, from a lawyer that lost control of his Facebook page. Email and social media accounts are targeted as they can be used by spammers to send out spam messages or by crooks intent on stealing your identity to gain access to your bank accounts or other personal information.

Getting control of you account back can be difficult as you can’t call or walk down to the corner to deal with a live person. Instead you have to go online and submit information to prove you are the true owner of the account.

The NY Times article has directions on the steps you need to take to recover your Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Facebook and Twitter accounts. It is worth a read now and you should stash it away in a safe pace (not in your email account!) in case you need to refer to it at some point in the future.

The article ends with some essential advice on protecting your online accounts: use strong passwords, change them often and don’t use the same password for everthing. For more information on the proper use of passwords read Don’t Be Passé With Passwords: Best Practices for Staying Safe, one of my past tips columns from Law Practice Magazine.


  1. Xavier Beauchamp-Tremblay

    I am a bit late reading this, thanks to the important backlog in my RSS feed, but regarding your “Don’t Be Passé With Passwords” article, I can’t stress enough how Lastpass (http://lastpass.com/) has been useful for me for (1) generating secure passwords and (2) securely storing these passwords… while making this as easy as if all my passwords were stored in my browser.

    For people who are reluctant on having all their passwords stored in the cloud, I also recommend Keypass (http://keepass.info/).