Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday aren’t the only things that attract bargain hunters and savvy shoppers in their droves to the popular online shopping portal — hackers are also exploiting this popularity and trying harder to get their hands on customer data. Read on to learn what you should do if your Amazon account has been hacked — and how you can improve your own and your online accounts’ protection when shopping online thanks to Avira Free Security.
This is where you go shopping when you want everything to be as smooth, fast, and easy as possible. But as Amazon’s popularity continues to increase, so too do the security risks. More and more hackers are trying to crack buyer accounts and then go on a shopping spree at someone else’s expense. If your Amazon account has been hacked, you need to act quickly. Start by following these steps.
Step 1: Change your Amazon password
If you believe your Amazon account has been hacked, the first thing you should do is to immediately log in to your Amazon account and change your password. To do this, click on Account and Lists, Your Account, and then on Login and Security at the top of the page.
To the right of “Password” click on Edit. Then enter the old password in the uppermost field and the new one in the fields below. Your new password should consist of a unique combination of numbers, letters and special characters, and it’s best if you don’t use terms that are in a dictionary. It’s important you create an entirely new password and switch your Amazon account password to one that you use for other services such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Finally, click Save Changes.
There’s one more step here: make sure to change the password of the email account associated with your Amazon account as well. This is important because it’s possible that hackers may have used it to obtain the access data for your Amazon account. How this works depends on your e-mail provider. If you are a Gmail user, check out this blog article about how to tell if your account was hacked.
Tip: A password manager makes it a breeze to generate and store a new, unique password. Avira Password Manager, the free password utility that’s included with Avira Free Security, also allows you to secure your other online accounts with super-strong passwords to improve their protection from hackers. And if you have the premium version, you’ll also be alerted if one of your accounts gets hacked.
Step 2: Review your account information
Next, check if your Amazon account has been tampered with. You can do this by going back into Account and Lists and Your Account. For example, check the stored payment methods (“Your Payments”), billing and shipping addresses (“Your Addresses”), phone numbers and email addresses (“Login and Security”). If you discover any changes, log them using screenshots and then correct them.
If you haven’t done so already, at this point you should contact Amazon directly and report that your account has been hacked. You can call the Amazon customer service hotline for further assistance and to help monitor your account.
Step 3: Check all orders
Next, take a look at your Amazon order history and make sure that all purchases were made by you alone. To do this, click on Account and Lists and Your Orders. Go through the orders of the last weeks in detail. Also look at Open Orders and Cancelled Orders. You should also review the Archived Orders activity found under Your Account and then Order and Shopping Settings. Hackers like to hide their fraudulent orders here.
Step 4: Activate two-step verification
Enabling two-step verification (2SV) makes it hard for hackers to access your account. That’s because Amazon will request an additional security code if someone tries to log in with an unknown computer, smartphone or tablet. While you’re still logged in, go to Your Account, then Login and Security, and click on Edit next to Two-Step Verification (2SV) Settings. Then follow the instructions.
Step 5: Remove stored payment data
If hackers have captured your Amazon access data, you can use it to shop not only at Amazon, but also in thousands of other online shops. The Amazon Pay payment system makes it possible. If you suspect that your Amazon account has been hacked, you should first remove all accounts and credit cards under Your Account and Your Payments. In addition, check your account statements very carefully for any unusual activity or payments.
We’ve got even more tips on how to shop online safely in this blog post.
Step 6: Take preventative steps and shop more securely
Avira Free Security comes with a practical password manager to create and store unique, unhackable passwords for all your online accounts. It also includes the Avira Safe Shopping browser extension which helps you block malicious and phishing sites and shows you the best offers for whatever it is you’re shopping for — keeping you safe when shopping online AND allowing you to save big time in the process. Check out our blogpost for further handy hints on how to protect yourself from an account hack.
By the way, you can also boost your mobile device’s security when shopping online. With the Pro version of Avira Antivirus Security for Android or Avira Mobile Security for iOS you benefit from Web Protection to safeguard yourself from malicious and phishing sites. All you need to do in the free app is make an in-app purchase to enjoy Web Protection and other premium features for a low price.