UK Gmail and Yahoo users must ‘take action’ now to avoid costly mistake

Anyone with a Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or other email account would be wise to make a quick, simple and very important check without delay. The team at Action Fraud have just issued urgent new advice after revealing that over 22,000 people in the UK were targeted by hackers last year with over £1million lost to online crooks.

It’s a worrying statistic but Action Fraud says there’s an easy way to stop becoming the next victim of online attacks. 

“Anyone with a social media or email account can be a target for fraudsters or cyberattacks. It is important to take action to secure your accounts, as fraud becomes even harder to detect with technology on a global scale,” explained Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud

“Protect your information by ensuring your email and social media passwords are secure and different from all your other passwords. You can also set up 2-step verification for a layer of extra security. Remember, prevent the potential for fraud and hacking, never share your password or any 2-step verification code with anyone.”

It’s always a good idea to keep check of your online passwords as millions of us continue to use easy-to-crack codes. Data breaches can also lead to passwords ending up in the hands of cyber crooks so making regular changes will help to keep things safe.

“Your email and social media passwords should be strong and different from all your other passwords,” said Action Fraud in an update on its security page. “Combining three random words that each mean something to you is a great way to create a password that is easy to remember but hard to crack.”

Another top tip is to add so-called 2-Step Verification (2SV) to accounts. This gives you twice the protection so even if cyber criminals have your password, they can’t access your email or social media account.

“2SV works by asking for more information to prove your identity,” Action Fraud added. “For example, getting a code sent to your phone when you sign in using a new device or change settings such as your password. You won’t be asked for this every time you check your email or social media.”

One thing you must never do is share this code with anyone – even close friends. In recent years, hackers have used a tactic, called on-platform chain hacking, where they get real codes sent to unsuspecting users.

“This is when a fraudster gains control of an account and begins to impersonate the legitimate owner,” said Action Fraud.

“The goal is to convince people to reveal authentication codes that are sent to them via text. Many victims of this type of hacking believe it’s a friend messaging them, however the shared code was associated with their own account and the impersonator can now use it to access their account.”

If you don’t think you have changed your passwords in a while or added 2SV to you account it could be time to act.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.