Skype software: what to do when compromised

Skype software: what to do when compromised

The most unpleasant moment when working with any program, which operates with personal data, is its hacking by criminals. The compromised user can lose not only confidential information, but also access to his account, contact list, correspondence file, etc. In addition, an intruder can contact people included in the contact database on behalf of the victim user, can ask for a loan, can send spam. Therefore, it is very important to take preventive measures to avoid hacking Skype, and if your account continues to be hacked, immediately take a series of actions, which will be described below.

Hacking prevention.

Before we get to the question of what to do if Skype is hacked, let's find out what actions you should take to prevent it from happening.
Follow these simple rules:

  1. The password must be as complex as possible, containing numeric and alphabetic characters in different registers;
  2. Do not reveal your account name and password;
  3. Never store them on a computer in an unencrypted form, or in an email;
  4. Use an effective antivirus program;
  5. Do not follow suspicious links on websites, or sent via Skype, do not download suspicious files;
  6. Don't add strangers to your contacts;
  7. Always log out of your account before ending a Skype session.

The last rule is especially relevant if you are working in Skype on a computer that other users also have access to. If you don't log out of your account, when you restart Skype, the user will be automatically redirected to your account.

By thoroughly following all the above rules, the chances of hacking your Skype account will be greatly reduced, but nonetheless, nothing will be able to give you a complete security guarantee. So here are the steps you should take if you have already been hacked.

How to know if you have been hacked?

You can tell if your Skype account has been hacked by one of these two signals:

  1. Messages are sent on your behalf that you have not written and actions that you have not taken;
  2. When trying to log into Skype with your username and password, the program indicates that the username or password entered is incorrect.

It must be recognized that this last criterion is not yet a guarantee that it has been exactly hacked. You may have forgotten your password, or it could be a problem with Skype itself. In either case, you must perform the password recovery procedure.

Reset Password

If an attacker has changed the account password, the user will not be able to access it. Instead, after entering the password, a message will appear saying that the data entered is not correct. In this case, click on the entry "If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it now".

A window opens in which you have to specify the reason why you think you cannot access your account. As we suspect a hack, we will put a check mark next to "I think someone else is using my Microsoft account." You can also specify this motif more specifically by describing its essence just below. But it is not mandatory. Then click on the "Next" button.

On the next page it will be proposed to reset the password, by sending a code in a letter to the email box specified during registration, or by SMS message to the phone, which is linked to the account. To do this, enter the captcha found on the page and click "Next".

If you cannot decipher the captcha, click the "New" button. In this case, the code will change. You can also click the "Audio" button. The characters will then be read through the audio output devices.

An email will then be sent to the specified phone number or email address, containing the code. To confirm your identity, you must enter this code in the following box in the Skype program. Then click on the "Next" button.

After going to the new window, a new password should appear. To avoid further hacking attempts, it should be as difficult as possible, contain no less than 8 symbols, and include letters and digits in different registers. Enter the password twice and click the "Next" button.

After that, your password will be changed and you will be able to log in with your new credentials. And the password that the intruder got hold of will be invalidated. In the new window, just click on the «Next» button.

Reset password when account access is saved

If you have access to an account, but see suspicious activity taking place from it on your behalf, please log out of your account.

On the login page, click "Can't sign in to Skype?"

Then the default browser opens. On the page that opens, enter the email address or phone number linked to the account in the box. Then click on the "Continue" button.

Next, a form opens with the choice of the reason for changing the password, exactly the same as for the password change procedure through the interface of the Skype program, which was described in detail above. All subsequent actions are exactly the same as when changing the password through the app.

Tell your friends

If you have contacts on your Skype account, be sure to let them know that your account has been compromised, so they don't misinterpret any dubious offer coming from your account as yours. If you can, do it as soon as possible, either through your phone, your other Skype accounts or other means.

If you regain access to your account, you will continue to tell people in your contacts that your account has been owned by an attacker for some time.

Virus check

Be sure to check your computer for viruses with an antivirus utility. Do it from another PC or device. If your data was stolen due to a malware infection, you run the risk of having your account stolen again until the virus is removed, even by changing your Skype password.

What to do if you cannot recover your account?

But, in some cases, you cannot change your password and regain access to your account using the above options. In these cases, your only recourse is to contact Skype support.

To contact support, open the Skype software and go to "Help" and "Help: Answers and Support" in sequence from its menu.

This will start the default browser. This will open the Skype help web page.

Scroll to near the bottom of the page and click "Ask Now" to get in touch with the Skype staff.

In the window that opens, click on "Login Issues" and then on "Go to Support Request Page" to contact us if you are unable to access your account.

In the window that opens, select "Security and privacy" and "Report fraudulent activity" in the special forms. Click on the «Next» button.

On the next page, to specify how to contact you, select "Email Support."

Next, a form opens in which you have to specify your country of residence, your name and surname and the email address through which you will be contacted.

You must enter your problem details at the bottom of the window. You must specify the subject of your problem, as well as leave a full description of the situation (up to 1500 symbols). You will then need to enter the captcha and click on the "Submit" button.

Afterwards, within one day you will receive a letter from the technical service with further recommendations to the indicated email address. Probably, to confirm that the account belongs to you, you will have to remember the last actions you performed on it, the contact list, etc. There is no guarantee that they will find your conclusive evidence and pay you back. It is very possible that your account will be blocked and you will have to create a new one. But even this is better than having a malicious user keep using your account.

As you can see, it is much easier to prevent account theft using basic security rules than it is to fix the situation and regain access to your account. But if the theft occurs, you have to act as quickly as possible, according to the previous recommendations.

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