Once you’ve locked down your other accounts, it’s time to start trying to recover the ones you may have lost control of. Many commonly used services offer a suite of tools to help you verify your identity and regain access to your accounts, but some make it easier than others. Here’s how recovery works on some of the services you might be using.
The company will let you verify yourself by contacting other devices connected to that account. On Android phones, that means you’ll get a notification that you can tap “yes” on to prove you’re the account owner. If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, Google makes that verification message available in the Gmail app. If none of that works, Google will send a recovery email to a backup email address if you’ve specified one in the past. To start, click here
If someone has taken control of your Apple ID, start by visiting iforgot.apple.com
. From there, Apple will ask you to verify your phone number and then sends notifications to your other Apple devices to help you reset your password — but only after you’ve confirmed your identity by punching in your Mac’s password, or your iPad’s or iPhone’s passcode.
Amazon: To start
, Amazon will attempt to confirm your identity by sending a verification code to your phone. If that isn’t an option — say, if someone else has control of your phone number - your best bet is to call Amazon customer service. As part of the process, you may be asked to upload a scan of your driver’s license, state ID card or a voter registration card to verify your identity.
Visit the company’s account recovery site
and type in the email address associated with your Microsoft account. You’ll be prompted to give Microsoft an account recovery code if you’ve already made one; if not you’ll have to fill out a short form that — among other things — asks you to provide an alternate email you have access to. From there, the company will send a four-digit code to that email address. Once you’ve verified the code, you’ll fill out another short form to start the recovery process.