Email phishing is one of the most common ways accounts are hacked. The number of compromised accounts continues to rise as hackers are utilizing more advanced techniques and many organizations lack the necessary tools to monitor unusual account behavior. Here are 10 signs that will help you recognize if your account has been hacked.

1. Unusual Activity

If you notice suspicious activity like missing or deleted emails, your account may be compromised. Hackers will often attempt to cover their tracks once they have access to your account. Purging emails that may tip you off to their presence is a common sign of being hacked.

2. Gaps in Email Chains

Others may receive and respond to emails from you without the email existing in your Sent Items Folder. Once a hacker accesses your account, they are in a race to steal as much money and information as quickly as possible.

3. Email Forwarding Rules

If you notice forwarding rules that you didn’t set up, it may be a hacker. They often set up rules to forward your emails to their accounts or hide emails in infrequently used folders such as the Notes, Junk Email, or RSS Subscription Folders.

4. You Cannot Send Emails

If your account has been used to send a large volume of spam, Microsoft can prohibit you from sending emails. If you are connected to your account and unable to send emails, you may have been hacked.

5. Strange Emails in Sent or Deleted Items Folder

If you see odd emails such as “I’m stuck in Paris, send money!” or other emails you didn’t send in either of these folders, a hacker may have sent them. Emailing your friends and asking for money is a common ploy used.

6. Unusual Profile Changes

If your profile name, address, or phone number has been changed, it may be a hacker impersonating you. They may attempt to redirect calls or mail by updating your profile to include erroneous information to extend the fraud beyond email.

7. Your Password Changed

If you find yourself suddenly locked out of your account, you need to immediately contact your system administrator. While users frequently lock themselves out of their account, if you know you did not, you should immediately be suspicious.

8. Friends and Business Partners Contact You

If you start receiving emails or calls from friends and business contacts regarding suspicious emails from your account, you need to take action immediately. The longer the account is in the hands of a hacker, the greater the damage to you and your organization’s reputation.

9. New Emails Appear to Have Been Read

Outlook shows new email subject links in bold for unread emails. If you notice a new email that you haven’t read is not in bold, you should be suspicious.

10. You Aren’t Receiving Any Emails

If you believe you should have received an email but have not, first make sure you are connected to Microsoft Exchange. If you are connected and still have not received emails for a considerable amount of time, you should be suspicious. Hackers often setup up mailbox rules to deliver inbound emails to the deleted items folder, delaying your ability in determining that your account has been taken over.


Corsica Technologies offers solutions that protect users where they work, at the endpoint, and monitors the entire infrastructure, including the cloud, for suspicious account behavior. If your organization is at risk, or would like to speak with one of our experts about your organization, please contact us through our website, or call us at 855.411.Corsica Technologies.

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