Scam of the day – June 19, 2012 – Email hacking

Email hacking is a scam that is always current and very common.  You find out your email is hacked when people start receiving emails from your email address that you have not sent.  These emails may be nothing more than nuisance spam, but they also can be dangerous malware loaded messages that can cause the people who receive them and trust the message because it appears to be from you to download keystroke logging malware that can steal all the information from their computers.  Additionally, during your hacking, you may have downloaded a dangerous keystroke logging program as well.

TIPS

First, ascertain the extent of the problem.  Run a full scan of your computer with your computer security software and make sure that it is up to date with the latest versions.  If you do not have automatic security software updating, now is a good time to start.  If you had any malware installed, a good security system should remove it.  Log into your email and find out if any of your settings have been changed by the hacker.  Some hackers will change the settings to notify them of any changes so that they can switch things again.  Check whether your account has been set to forward email to another address that isn’t your address or that runs a filter that will forward emails.  If any of these settings appear, immediately change them.  Next change your password to something complex with both letters and numbers in it.  Also change your security question and make sure that the security question you choose is not something that diligent hackers could find on line, such as your mother’s maiden name.  You might even make the security question totally illogical, such as the name of a pet that you don’t have and never did have and make that name ridiculous.  The more ridiculous, the easier to remember, as well.  Finally, report the hacking to your email provider.