AOL Account Security

If you think your account is hacked:

Warning signs of a hacked account

1Check for these signs

Any one of these symptoms means there's a good chance your email account has been hacked. If you notice any of these at any time, change your password immediately.

  • You get a message from AOL: “We have detected unusual activity on this account.”
  • Your inbox is full of MAILER-DAEMON rejection notices for messages you didn't send.
  • People you know are getting emails from you that you didn’t send.
  • There are outgoing messages in your Sent, Drafts or Outbox folder that you didn’t create or send.
  • Your account folders (Sent, Deleted, Spam, Inbox, etc.) have been emptied or deleted.
  • Your Address Book contacts have been erased.
  • During sign-in or when sending a message, you're asked to pass an image challenge (a box asking you to “Type the characters you see below”).
  • Emails you try to send are suddenly getting refused and returned to you.
  • There are contacts in your Address Book you didn’t add.
  • You keep getting bumped offline when you're signed into your account.
  • Your email signature suddenly has a link you didn’t put there.
  • You're not getting new mail, OR your new mail is going straight into your Saved IMs folder.
2Change your password, we can help

If you ever notice anything strange in your account, the first thing to do is change your password. This will block whatever person – or more likely, whatever computer program – has gained access to your account. We also recommend changing your Account Security Question. Here are instructions for both, password first:


The L0ng3rY0uRPa$sw0rD is, the stronger it is. Mix in numbers and symbols. Make it tough! You can change your AOL password whenever and as often as you'd like.

If you used the same password for other accounts – social media, financial services – change those passwords as well. We know it’s a pain, but keep different passwords for different services – it’s a good idea.

1. Go to and sign in. (If you forgot your password, click Forgot password.)

2. Next, answer your Account Security Question.

3. On the page that opens, under “Username Options”, click Change Password.

4. Using the drop-down menu, select the Username for which you want to change the password.

5. Under “Change Password”, type a new password in the text box. Type it again in the Confirm Password box to ensure there are no typos and that it's exactly as you want it.

6. Click Save.

Account Security Question

1. Go to, and sign in.

2. Type the answer to your current Account Security Question and click Continue.

3. On the page that opens, under “Username Options”, click Change Account Security Question.

4. Under “Change Account Security Question”, from the drop-down menu, choose the name for which you’re changing the ASQ.

5. Next to “New Account Security Question”, choose a new question (or keep the same one and change up the answer).

6. In the two boxes after “Your Answer” and “Re-Type Your Answer”, type the answer to the question. In your answer, use both letters AND numbers if possible. - For example, 3new4york or ch1cago (but not those :-)

7. Click Save.

Having trouble? Hitting bumps? We can help. For ASQ-related issues, give us a call at 877-786-0722.

You should also:

  • Review your “Away Message” in your AOL Mail settings (as well as AIM, if you use AIM) to ensure no one has inserted spam or other inappropriate content. Go to Settings, and in General, look in “Mail Away Message”.
  • Review your Signature to ensure no one added spam or other inappropriate content. Go to Settings, and in Compose, look in “Rich Text / HTML”.

If you send an email to, we will flag your account and monitor it for further unauthorized activity. If we detect any suspicious activity, we will automatically take appropriate steps.

3Prevent intrusion into your AOL account

The two strongest locks on your account are your password and your Account Security Question. Make them hard to guess. For instructions on how to change them, see above.

In general, when it comes to keeping your account secure, be paranoid!

  • When you can, opt out of “Keep me informed” type options offered by services when you sign up. This often requires you to un-check a box asking if you’d like to receive email updates from a service you’ve signed up with.
  • Make sure your account has details attached to it that are valid and that you can remember, so that if you ever need to recover the account we can verify that you are the account owner. Go to and provide information you might find missing - a mobile number, an alternate email account, and anything else that will help us to recognize that your are the legitimate owner of this account. In the event of any problems down the road, you'll be glad you did!