Compromised Accounts

What is a Compromised Account?

A user’s account becomes compromised when the password to the user’s email account is obtained by a malicious party. Compromised Accounts often lead to massive amounts of email spam from the user’s account, and if this spam is being sent by USD email accounts, it will lead to other websites and organizations temporarily or permanently blocking all email from USD accounts. Because of this potential blacklisting, USD takes our compromised accounts very seriously.

Why was I compromised?

Compromised Accounts occur for a variety of reasons. The details of these reasons are explained in the Cyber Security Presentation, but the two most common causes of Compromised Accounts are brute-force hacking and Phishing scams.

What do I do about my Compromised Account?

In order to reactivate your compromised account, Information Technology Services requires that all users complete a series of steps to help educate and defend against compromised accounts in the future. These steps are:

  1. Users will need to download and read the Cyber Security Presentation, which will provide information on how compromised accounts occur, what dangers exist in the realm of cybersecurity, and how to protect oneself against these dangers. 
  2. Watch the Email Phising Awareness Video below.
  3. Users will need to take the Cyber Security Quiz and read the USD Responsible Use Policy attached to the Quiz. Once the Quiz and the Responsible Use Policy has been passed and signed, please email the ITS Help Desk ( or call us at (619)260-7900 letting us know that you have passed and signed the Quiz and Policy. We will confirm the passing score from our end and start the steps to reactive the account.