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Compromised Accounts


Question: What should I do if my account has been compromised/hacked?


To begin, you need to be aware of three items you need to address: account security, potential spam, and email theft.


Account Security:
You will need to reset your password. If you have a university-issued ThinkPad, connect to the university WiFi network. If you are off-campus, connect using your VPN client. If you have issues with either, contact The Bridge. After you have connected to a Wake Forest network, press CTRL + ALT + DEL. This will bring you to a screen that has a few items listed. Select “Change a Password.” Here, you will change your password.

After you have changed your password, make sure you change your saved password on all devices on which you have it saved! Your password is connected to Gmail, WIN, Sakai, DEAC, and many other WFU services. Ensure that it is changed on all devices!


Potential Spam:
To ensure that you do not continue the cycle of spamming, you will need to change some settings in the information that is always displayed. In your gmail account, click on the gear button on the right side of the page above your mail. Select “Settings.” You will need to navigate to the “General” tab on this page. In the “General” tab, check both your “Signature” and your “Vacation Responder.” Make sure that nothing has been added to either of them. If your “Vacation Responder” should not be enabled, ensure that it is not enabled.


E-mail Theft:
Some hackers steal emails. To ensure that any email that you send or receive is not stolen after you discover your account has been compromised, you will need to address a few things in the “Settings” page.

First, go to the tab labeled “Accounts.” In the “Send Mail As” section, ensure that it is using your correct email address.

Next, go to the “Filters” tab. Read through your filters and make sure that there are no filters that forward or delete email that should not be there.

After this, you will need to go into the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab. Here, you will go to the “Forwarding” section and ensure that it is forwarded to the correct address or is disabled. Now, go to the “POP Download” and ensure that it is disabled. Finally, you will go to the “IMAP Access” section and ensure that it is disabled.



Question: What will happen with regards to the university aspect of the account?

Possibly Compromised Accounts

If your account has possibly been compromised, it will not be disabled unless a predetermined amount of time has passed. You will receive an email with information regarding the possible compromising of your account and the length of time that you will have to change your password before your account is disabled. You may be contacted by phone by a member of the university’s Service Desk. If you cannot be contacted, your account will be disabled. You will need to come to The Bridge in the ZSR library so that you can be guided through the process of re-enabling your account and taking preventative measures against further compromising. This will include changing your password to a completely different password and running malware scans on your computer to see if any harmful software needs to be removed.


Compromised Accounts

If your account has been compromised, it will be disabled so that further damage will not be done to your data or to your identity. You will be contacted by phone by a member of the university’s Service Desk. You will need to backup your data and then come to The Bridge in the ZSR library so that you can be guided through the process of re-enabling your account and taking preventative measures against further compromising. This will include changing your password to a completely different password and reimaging your machine to clear any potential malware, malicious spyware, or viruses.


Keywords: compromised, account hacked, password, spam, security
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