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Frequently Asked Question #117. What should I do if someone breaks into my LiveJournal account?

If someone has broken into your LiveJournal account and changed your LiveJournal password, you can reclaim control of your journal as long as you have access to an email address which has been validated on your account previously. There are six steps to resecure your LiveJournal account; you must follow all six steps in order to ensure that your account is as secure as possible.
  1. Change your email password. Even if there are no signs that your email address has also been compromised, we highly recommend that you take this step, especially if your LiveJournal account and email address previously shared the same password.

    If the email address currently associated with your LiveJournal account has been compromised and you can no longer access it, you can use another email address previously validated on your LiveJournal account to complete these steps. Your LiveJournal password can always be reset by anyone with access to the current email address associated with your account, as well as any email address which was validated on your account before the current email address. Ultimately, the security of your first validated email address determines the security of your LiveJournal account.

    If you can no longer access any email address associated with your LiveJournal account, you will first need to work with your email service provider before you can resecure your LiveJournal Account. If your first validated email address has been compromised, and cannot be resecured, there is unfortunately no action that you or the Abuse Prevention Team can take to resecure your LiveJournal account.

  2. Reset your LiveJournal password and your secret question. You will need to reset the password on your account; enter your username and the email address you used in the previous step. You will then receive an email that will contain a link to reset your password; click on this link and change your password. If you are having problems receiving this email, you will need to ensure that you are able to receive emails from LiveJournal. If you have a secret question, you should also reset your secret question and answer.

  3. Log into your LiveJournal account. Log into your LiveJournal account with the password that you created in the previous step.

  4. Change the email address associated with your LiveJournal account. If your email address has not been changed by the intruder, you can skip to step 6. If it has been changed, you will need to change it back by entering your email address and the password which was generated in step 2. It is important that you choose an email address which has been validated on your account previously because you need to re-validate an older email address before removing a more recent one, such as an intruder's email address.

  5. Re-validate your email address if you changed it. When you change the email address associated with your account, you should receive an email with a link to validate this change. Be sure to click on the validation link in this email.

  6. Remove any email addresses that you do not control. If any new email addresses have been added to your account, or you no longer have control of an email address which is listed, then you should remove them (please note that you can remove any email address which is older than your currently listed email address only if your current email address has been validated for more than six (6) months). If the email address of the intruder cannot be selected, or is "greyed out", you have validated an email address which was never previously associated with your account, or is newer than the email address you are attempting to remove. You will need to go back to step 4 in order to fully resecure your account.

After you complete all of the above steps, your account will be as secure as you can make it. Unfortunately, if the intruder made any other changes to your journal, there is no way to revert them. If your profile, entries, or userpics have been deleted or altered, they cannot be restored to their earlier condition.

If you have further questions about resecuring your account, you should file a report with the Abuse Prevention Team for assistance.

Last Updated: April 21st, 2011

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