Google Account, which serves as an universal login credentials to authenticate and access to vast array of Google services, has became an important property for many Internet users. Google Account allows user to access apps and services such as Gmail, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google AdSense, Google Docs, Google Apps, Blogger, Google Calendar, Google Bookmarks, Google Sites, Google Checkout, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Talk, Orkut and even Facebook, etc.
It’s no-brainer that many hackers and attackers target to hack and take control of others’ Google Account. For a Google Account with a proper password set (i.e. use of considerably difficult to guess password and different password for each of many Internet user accounts), and by following safe web browsing practice (e.g. not downloading and opening potentially malicious files), the Google Account been hacked is almost impossible. However, chance is, the Google Account may get hacked into, hijacked and been taken control by hacker with or without malicious intent.
Things get complicated when the Google Account password been changed by hacker, and legitimate user has no mean or way to sign into his or her Google Account again. So, how’s to reclaim to own and get back the hacked Google Account? Here’s a few steps that Google recommends.
Method 1: Try to reset Google Account password
Visit the Google Password Assistance page at https://www.google.com/accounts/ForgotPasswd, and enter the email address used to sign in to Google Account. For Gmail user, just enter Gmail username will do.
For user who sets up the account recovery via SMS option, an recovery code will be sent to the mobile phone, which enables user to enter a new password.
For user with non-Gmail Google Account, an recovery email message will be sent to the address registered as the Google Account username. This message contains instructions to reset the password.
For Google Accounts with Gmail, the recovery email message with instructions to reset the password will be sent to the secondary email address defined in the Google Account. If no secondary email address is configured, user should go back to the Password Assistance page above or visit this URL, http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/request.py?contact_type=reset_password, to enter the username again, where user is now able to reset the password by answering security question, or request help.
Method 2: Contacting Google Support Help
When all course of resetting and changing the password of Google Account fails, user can try to contact Google by filling in the following form:
The problem with Google Account recovery form method is that user has to prove and verify his or her ownership on the Google Account. Some proofs of ownership for the Google Account include:
- Account creation date for Gmail or Google Account. To get the date, just search for “Gmail is different. Here’s what you need to know.” email that been delivered to all new Gmail account (provided you don’t delete it), or the oldest email messages in Inbox, All Mail or Sent Items for approximate date the account is created.
- Last successful login date using the Google Account.
- Last password for the Google Account that user remembers.
- For user who created Gmail account with invite or after accepted invitation, the email address of which the invite originated. Just search for “has invited you to open a free Gmail account”, provided user doesn’t purge old email messages.
- Google products that been used with the Google Account and the date (day, month and year) or closest estimated date user started to use the services.
- Email addresses of top 5 most frequently emailed contacts.
- List of custom labels been created in the Gmail account.
The ability to provide as much possible of information above will definitely help Google to return the hacked and hijacked Google Account to original user.