03/07/2012 11:40 | By Matt Farrington-Smith, editor, MSN Tech & Gadgets

Help my Hotmail account has been hacked!

How to recover and reset your Hotmail password, and what to do if you start to receive spam email from your friends.

Nobody likes spam email, even less like having their Hotmail account hacked into and exploited.

How to reset and recover a hacked Hotmail account. Image MSN

Easily report a hacked Hotmail account by using the 'My friend's been hacked!' option.

What is a hacked account?

If an account has been compromised or hacked - it means that a password has been stolen and the account might be used to access personal information or send spam.

If a friend has been hacked

If a friend suddenly starts sending dodgy-looking emails and you suspect something fishy, it's easy to report a hacked account. Here's what to do:

Locate the 'Mark as' menu and select the 'My friend's been hacked!' option.

If you've been hacked yourself

If you have been the unfortunate victim of some dastardly hacking scam, you can take action too. I'm always being asked what's the easiest method to recover a Windows Live account and reset a password - here is my recommended tip:

Visit the recovery website here https://account.live.com/acsr

You'll be presented with three boxes. In the first enter the Windows Live ID you're trying to recover (your Hotmail email address or Messenger login).

How to recover your Hotmail account and password. Image MSN

The account recovery webpage.

Next, enter an alternative email address where Microsoft can contact you (different to the one you're trying to recover, it doesn't have to be a Hotmail account).

And finally, correctly type the series of random characters. Click 'Continue' when done.

Keep your eyes peeled for a confirmation email (check your junk mail for the confirmation in case it gets incorrectly
identified as spam).

Visit the Hotmail recovery website
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