Computer Security & Viruses/Is this a virus or something worse?
QUESTION: I have had a Hotmail account for over 15 years. Last week I found that the email is being used by someone else. They are not sending out spams from it or even asking for money on my behalf!!and I am worried as to what they are doing . I am vizualizing complete Identity Theft. Apart from protecting myself financially (which I have already taken steps on), I would also like to recover the account because I have 2 decades of contacts and other vital information stored in many folders. I filled out online forms for Microsft using a hyperink for "I believe someone else is using my account" but they have not responded yet.
ANSWER: If you can access the account, save your contacts. If nothing else print screen them. There is an option to export your contacts in hotmail. It will put it in a excel. After you get everything you need from the account, close it out. Use a program such as Ccleaner www.filehippo.com to clean the temporary files and repair registry issues. Remove all traces of the account from your computer. Never access the account again. I am almost ashamed of MS for not getting back to you. That is a really serious breach.
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QUESTION: Thank you Keith. I am NOT able to access the account. They have changed password, alternate email id etc. Being that I had it for so long, and being that there seems to be no spamming, malware mailing or evidence of phishing so far, my anxiety now is how I can recover 15 years worth information and data I have in the many folders I had created.
Wow! I'm sorry, but this will be totally dependent on Microsoft and/or hotmail. Without them replying to you and giving you access to the account, I'm afraid there is nothing you can do. I don't recommend this, but there is the option of trying to take matters into your own hands and hack the account. The problem is you would have to have some expensive software to figure out the password. Unless, of course, it is a simple password such as the word "password" or any other simple thing that a lot of people use. It's a long shot. I would continue to bug the heck out of Microsoft until I heard something back from them.
I wish I knew something else to do, but I don't.