finding my way (lyspeth) wrote in lj_userdoc,
finding my way
lyspeth
lj_userdoc

FAQ draft -- 117

(117) Someone broke into my LiveJournal account! was mentioned in rho's linkage suggestions, with links suggested to (11) How do I get validated? It says I'm currently not validated! and (18) How can I change my password?.

On reading through it, it seemed pretty confusing to me, and I ended up not changing the current version, but writing a somewhat different draft of it. It's an Abuse-related FAQ, even though it's not in the Abuse category, so I'd really appreciate any input from members of the Abuse team, and I'll be waiting on rahaeli's approval before anything can happen with it.

FAQ 117: Someone broke into my LiveJournal account! (possible title addition to parallel other FAQs: "How do I get it back?" or "What should I do?")

If someone broke into your LiveJournal account and changed your password, you can still usually reclaim control of your journal.

Your LiveJournal account's security is based on your email account's security. If you believe that your email account is secure, but are not positive, you should always change your email account password before changing your LiveJournal password.

If your email account has also been broken into, you will have to solve that problem before dealing with getting your stolen LiveJournal account back. Security of users' own email accounts is beyond LiveJournal's responsibility and ability, and you may wish to talk to whoever is hosting your email account.

In order to reclaim control of your journal, take the following steps.

First, go to http://www.livejournal.com/tools/emailmanage.bml and check whether there are any unfamiliar email addresses there.

If there are no unfamiliar addresses there, the email address that LiveJournal uses hasn't been changed. In this case, you should first change the password on your email account, to ensure its security, and then change the password on your LiveJournal account (http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=18).

Your account is now as secure as you can make it.

If there are unfamiliar addresses in your account history, you will have to remove them before your account can be completely secure. In order to do this, you need to have access to an email account that you had previously validated for your LiveJournal account. If you had validated the account that you were using immediately before the intruder broke in to your account, that account would work; otherwise you will need to gain access to one of the earlier accounts in your account history.

Ensure that this address is secure and under your control. Then, have the current password for your LiveJournal account sent to this address. To do this, visit http://www.livejournal.com/lostinfo.bml. Enter your username and the email account you have chosen and ask it to send you the current password.

NOTE: The email address you have chosen MUST have been used and validated before the intruder took control of your account. You cannot validate a new address and then delete an older one.

You can then log in and change the email address for your LiveJournal account to the email address you had the password sent to, or another earlier secure email address. Re-validate this email address (http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=11). Then, visit http://www.livejournal.com/tools/emailmanage.bml to remove the intruder's address from your account's email history.

Once you have made sure that your account's email address is a secure account that you control, and there is no way for the intruder to use his or her email account to reclaim your password, you can change your password (http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=18).

Users are always responsible for the security of their own accounts. If you take good security precautions, your account is less likely to suffer a break-in. For more information on password and account security, see http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=71.
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