Recently I received a few emails from multiple friends in one day emailing me random links to Australian websites. One was using Gmail, the other was using YahooMail. When I asked them about it, they had no idea. Then my phone lit up with a few email delivery failures on my separate, more professional Gmail account I rarely use. My account had sent to my only 12 contacts a similar message.
After logging into my Gmail account and checking the IP address log, I noticed a random log-in at 1am from Thailand from a mobile platform. My Gmail friend called me and said all his contacts were missing and sure enough, mine were missing as well. I found a way to restore my contacts and realized problems with my password. I’ll show you below how to restore your Gmail contacts and secure your Gmail account (even if you’ve been locked out).
Regain Access to your Gmail Account
First you want to sign in and change your password as soon as possible. I’ll go over how to make a better password below.
If you’ve been locked out of your account, here’s what you can do:
1. Go to http://gmail.com and click “I cannot access my account”
2. Choose “My account has been compromised”
3. “I believe someone has taken over my account”
From there, Gmail will send instructions to your alternate email to regain access (hopefully you’ve already set that up as Google nagged you to).
How to restore your Gmail Contacts
I have had feedback that this doesn’t always work, but I think it would. It worked for me.
- Go to http://google.com/contacts
- Click the “All Contacts” line in the far left column
- Choose “Select All” in the middle column
- Click “Move to My Contacts” in the right column
How to Choose Passwords
This is the most important section because it will show you how to pick strong passwords that are unique for every website and you will still remember them. Part of the the problem with passwords is that we use the same one for every website. If someone gets your password for one, they can pretty much guess other website log-ins. Watch the video below: