Email’s ubiquitous nature makes accessing people’s accounts a tempting target for hackers. If your Microsoft Outlook account has been hacked, someone has stolen your password and may be using your account to steal personal information or send spam email. explains what steps you need to take if you become the victim of a hacked email account.

Microsoft states there are two reasons you might think your Outlook account has been hacked.

Users may receive a message from Microsoft saying, “Help us secure your account”.

This means Outlook have spotted some activity on their account unusual enough for them to lock the account until action is taken.

Users may also spot strange activity ranging from unauthorised charges, spam being sent to their contacts and unrecognised names in their file sharing.

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How to change a Microsoft account password:

The first thing Outlook users should do to protect their account is to change their password.

Start by visiting Recover Your Account and enter email address, phone number, or Skype name used to sign in.

Microsoft will next ask where users wish to receive their security code.

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Next, simply enter the requested information and select Send code.

Type the security code into the Verify Your Identity field and select Next.

Input the New Password, then confirm it by doing so again into the Re-Enter Password Field.

Those unable to change their password using a security code to your contact information, complete the Recovery Form.

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How to review suspicious sign in activity:

After signing in, users will wish to check recent activity on their Outlook account.

If you see any account activity that looks unfamiliar, select This Wasn’t Me, and Microsoft will help you change the password, if this has not already been done.

Start by visiting Security > Sign-In Activity > View My Activity.

Due to the sensitivity of this information, Microsoft will need to verify the user’s identity with a security code.

On the Protect your account screen, select the method by which users wish to receive this code, then select Send Code.

Next, enter the resulting security code in the Enter Code screen.

Review the recent sign-in activity on your account.

If any successful sign-ins are found that are not recognised, users are urged to run a scan with your security software and remove any malware you find.

Your password should then be changed again at the earliest opportunity.