Microsoft 365 has been Hacked: How to Protect your Account

Hackers recently targeted Microsoft and were successful in acquiring some user’s sensitive data. Follow the steps in this article to make sure your account is secure.

Microsoft 365 Hacked

Hackers from foreign countries have been targeting the US government. They have been monitoring their email accounts for many years. The two departments affected were as follows. The Treasury Department and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.  The code responsible for the breach was in a program called SolarWinds. This was then used to gain access to Microsoft’s email client. 

Microsoft has not been able to identify any Microsoft product vulnerabilities. But that is not to say that there have not been any. It is not only businesses that are at risk from this recent hack, but your personal email accounts, too. If you use an email account through Microsoft 365, you could be one of the affected.

Don’t worry, though. There are several steps that you can take to ensure your accounts stay protected. There are also further security steps that are available to windows 10 users. These steps will be in your security settings.

Reset your Password

The first and most obvious step you can take to make sure your account is safe is to reset your password. This is fast, and easy to do through your account settings. Make a new password with a combination of uppercase letters and lowercase letters. You should also try to use numbers and symbols. Once you’ve selected your new password, you can use a password manager to help you keep track of your passwords. Make sure it is different from ones used on other accounts, and not easy to guess.  Many password managers are free and you can do this through a quick Google search. 

Set Up Account Recovery

The next step you should take is to set up an account recovery email. You can do this in minutes via your account settings. It will prevent prying eyes from having access to your business or personal emails. If the worst should happen and you do get hacked, it is a must-have. Once your account recovery email address has been set up, you will be able to request a password reset. This will go to to your recovery email address. It’s also a good thing to have as a backup, should you ever forget your password (or forget to use a password manager).

Microsoft 365

Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication

You should already be using multi-factor authentication when logging into your email accounts. Even many social media websites now offer this as a standard-setting. Multi-factor authentication will stop others from logging into your business or personal emails. Even if they already know, or manage to guess your password. Once you’ve set up multi-factor authentication. And enter your password into your email account, it will ask you to confirm that you were trying to log in. This is usually done by the website sending a text message to your phone. 

To set up multi-factor authentication on your Microsoft 365 email account. Go to your account settings. Then, select ‘more security options’. Next, select ‘two-step verification’, and then ‘enable two-step verification’. They will then ask to confirm your details and enter a mobile number. This number will receive your verification codes. Microsoft will send a passcode to your mobile device and ask you to enter it on the website to pair the two together. 

Another option to secure your Microsoft 365 account is by using the Microsoft Authenticator App. You can download this for free. Once you have downloaded the app and set it up on your mobile device, you will receive your unique codes through it. 

Microsoft 365

Manage Your Apps 

Microsoft has said that the most secure way to access their services is to use certified apps. You should only download these from trusted sources. Such as the app store. This applies to both mobile devices and computers. If you’ve already been doing this (go you!), make sure you keep them up to date by checking for updates. They provide free, regular updates to every app. These not only bring tweaks and improvements but security updates too.

Microsoft 365

Be Careful With Your Emails

There is a simple but often overlooked way to make sure you keep your account safe. Be careful when opening emails from accounts you are not familiar with. Never open attachments from unfamiliar and unreputable emails. They could contain viruses or phishing software that’s designed to harvest your credentials. 

If you make sure to follow these steps, your emails will be as secure as they can be. And remember: never share your passwords with anyone, and make sure you change them from time to time.

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