One of the more difficult things that can happen in the realm of cyber security is when someone hacks into an email account and takes it over. This can make things very difficult, as it makes it possible to change other passwords and to verify other accounts. It's important to act quickly when a takeover happens.
When there is any indication that one of your email accounts has been compromised, go to that account right away. If the password has not already been changed by the person who accessed the account, change it quickly. If someone is in your email account but has not yet changed it, changing it could lock them out of it for good. If you are not able to get in, go to your IT department and tell them about the problem. They may be able to get you back into the account. If you have managed IT services, you can contact them at any time of day to alert them.
These days, just because someone has your password, that doesn't mean that they can automatically get into your email account. When you put a multi-factor authentication process in place, there will be several steps that someone has to take in order to get into your account. They may need an email plus access to your cell phone and then perhaps have to answer a personal question that no one would know about. This is one of the best ways to keep your account private and keep anyone from being able to simply hack their way in.
If someone did get into your email account for long enough to see your contacts, you may need to tell them about the breech. Also, check the "sent" file to see whether anything was sent from your account. They may have used your email to send out spam or other communications that should not have been coming from you. If this is the case, send out emails to your contacts, telling them that you had a hack, you apologize for the issue and to disregard any message that the hacker sent to them.
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