Since this morning you can no longer access your Hotmail account? When trying to login, are you told that the information you entered is incorrect? Have your colleagues just contacted you to ask you about some "strange" emails you sent them in the morning? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, there is a good chance that your account has been stolen.
Are you in a situation with no way out? Absolutely not! If you give me a few minutes of your free time, I can show you how to recover a stolen Hotmail account through a very simple and immediate password recovery procedure. For the sake of completeness, then, I will explain how you can avoid this situation in the future by suggesting some effective security measures that can prevent unauthorized access to your mailbox.
So, are you ready to get started? Well, then let's not waste any more precious time and get right into the heart of this tutorial. Make yourself comfortable, take all the time you need to concentrate on reading the next few paragraphs, implement the advice I'm going to give you and you'll see that you can get your Hotmail account back. Have a good read and good luck with everything!
Check if your Hotmail account has been stolen
Checking if your Hotmail account has been stolen is essential to recover it. To do so, link to this web page, type your email address into the text field provided and click the blue Next button. Then enter the password for your Microsoft account and click the blue Sign In button.
Now, click on the SMS button at [the phone number you provided during registration], type the last four digits of your phone number into the text field and click on the Send Code button. The Microsoft team will send you an SMS containing a numeric code, which you can use to confirm your identity: enter it into the Code text field and click the Verify button to complete the operation.
If you have no way to confirm your identity via your mobile number, for example because you have changed your mobile number and haven't updated this information in your account, click on one of the other options shown to you, for example Use a verification code from the mobile app or E-mail to [alternative email address], depending on the identity confirmation options you have set for your account.
If you can't use any of these solutions, click the I don't have any of this information link and follow the on-screen instructions to verify your identity.
As soon as you have done this verification, you will have access to the complete list of logins that have been made in the last month. If you see logins from devices that are not yours, your account has obviously been stolen.
Then click on the Protect account link (under the heading Is activity unfamiliar? under Suspicious login) and follow the on-screen instructions to secure your inbox: this will reset your password and verify your account security information.
Once you have completed the procedure to reset your password, you can finally get your Hotmail account back and use it safely. If, on the other hand, you were not able to perform the verification procedure described above, obviously the cybercriminal who stole your account has also changed your password. You can find useful information on how to proceed in this case in the next chapter of the tutorial.
Recover stolen Hotmail account
If you're reading this chapter of the tutorial, obviously your Hotmail account has been stolen and you still haven't been able to get back in because the cybercriminal who took it has also changed his login password. In this case, how can you recover your stolen Hotmail account? I'll explain it to you right now.
First, go to the Outlook.com login page (as I explained in my tutorial on how to access Hotmail, Microsoft has now bundled all of its email services into Outlook.com), click the Login button (located towards the center of the page on the right), type the email address that was stolen in the text field and click the blue Next button.
At this point, you will be asked to type in the password to access your account. Since the access key was changed by the thief who took your account, click on the I forgot my password link which is located at the bottom of the login form.
On the page that opens, the Microsoft team will ask you to confirm the email address for which you wish to retrieve the account. After typing it, click the Next button and choose one of the options you need to verify your identity.
Check items such as Send email to [email address], SMS to [phone number] or use my authentication app and then follow the on-screen instructions to proceed. For example, if you decided to verify your identity using your phone number, type the last 4 digits of the phone number in the text field and then click the blue Send code button. Within a few minutes, you will receive a numeric code: type it into the text field Enter the code and then click the Next button.
If you have no way to confirm your identity via your mobile phone number (for example because you have changed your mobile phone number and haven't updated this information in your account), click the I don't have any of this information link and follow the instructions you see on screen to proceed with identifying your identity.
If you have set an account recovery code, type it into the next text field and then click the Use Recovery Code button. If you haven't set it, click No.
In the latter case, in order to regain possession of your account, you must fill out a form to recover it. First check that the correct email address to recover is entered in the Email Address, Phone or Skype Name field, then enter a different email address from the one you are trying to restore in the text field below, called Contact Email Address.
In the text field next to Enter the characters you see, then type the CAPTCHA code that appears on your screen. If you can't decipher the code, click the New button to generate a new code, or if you prefer, click the Audio button to hear a sound code. After typing the code, click the Next button again.
As a last step, type the retrieval code you obtained at the alternative email address, in the next text field shown, and click the Verify button.
You can now finally reset your password and regain your account. To do so, type a secure password in the New Password field, repeat it in the Confirm Password field and click the Next button.
If everything went well, you will see the reassuring message "Your account has been recovered". To conclude, click the Next button and log in by entering your email and your new password in the login form.
While strictly following the procedures described above, were you unable to regain possession of your Hotmail account? If so, I suggest you visit the support page that Microsoft has set up on its website, where you will find more information that will help you recover your account.
How to protect your Hotmail account
After you've had your Hotmail account stolen, I bet you don't want to repeat an experience like that, do you? Then let me give you some advice on how to protect a Hotmail account and avoid theft of your Hotmail login credentials.
- Use a sufficiently secure password - to be considered secure, the password must be at least 15-20 characters long (the "minimum union minimum" is 8 characters, but the longer the password, the harder it will be to intercept) and must contain numbers, letters (both lower and upper case) and symbols. It must NOT contain anything that can be traced back to you (e.g. your date of birth, names of family members, etc.) and must be different from passwords used for other accounts. If you want to have some more suggestions on how to create secure passwords, read the more detailed information I have published on the subject.
- Enable two-factor authentication - this way, even if someone unfortunately intercepts your password, they won't be able to access your account because they won't have the second access key, which will be sent by the Microsoft team via SMS to the mobile number indicated during activation. To enable two-factor authentication on your account, go to the Security Settings page and login with your Microsoft account. Then click Set Two Step Verification (in the Two Step Verification section) and follow the on-screen instructions.