View Full Version : Email account hacked/spammed AGAIN! How to stop it?

Apr. 8, 2012, 02:07 PM
So two months ago my email account was apparently hacked and spam was sent to everyone on my contact list. I, of course, feel awful about that. Oddly though I think what ticked me off more was the fact that it was for a "work-from-home" scheme and not a Male Enlargement Product. That at least would have been entertaining! :lol:

So I changed my password on everything that I own and let me just say - I am pretty crafty at creating passwords - lowercase, uppercase, and number....I gave myself a great password. Then low and behold, last night, it happened again! :mad: It's now to the point where I printed off my list of contacts and then deleted my address book just so if it happens again I won't bother anyone. And can I just say, having to type in someone's email address sucks??? :(

So does anyone have any advice on how to prevent this from happening? It's really ticking me off! Especially since this last one was for some boring thing again! :lol:

Apr. 8, 2012, 02:15 PM
I am reminded of this comic: https://xkcd.com/936/

What email provider do you use?

Apr. 8, 2012, 02:20 PM
Awesome Simkie!!!!

I use AT&T. net powered by Yahoo!. And I've already decided that it's probably my service providers lack of security measures, but the thing is, I have had the same email for decades and it's my farm's email (boarding/training barn) so I really NEED to keep the same email address. Or at least would REALLY like too. I've never been a huge fan of Yahoo! And this to the list of reasons....:rolleyes:

Apr. 8, 2012, 02:20 PM
Do you have a good spam/anti-virus program on your computer? Do you click on odd links? Are you sure you don't have malware running on your computer? I've never had my email hacked and I have multiple email accounts.

Apr. 8, 2012, 02:42 PM
I had the same happen last week, first a friend send me an odd email, they had hacked hers and when I opened, offering some home from work scam, my email also was compromised.

I also have the same email for years and it is business related, so a pain to change it.

I had our computer whisperer look at it and said it was not a virus, but a very powerful pop-up type thing and to keep watching it and if it reoccurs to call him again.
He tried to email that link to his own store email and it would not go thru, would not let it send it from my computer, that had him puzzled.
He is looking into this and I will let you know what he finds.
It is definitely malware, just don't know yet which kind, but not a virus.

I tried to contact AOL but you know how that goes, you can't get thru to them when you need them.
Since this doesn't seem to have happened again, maybe it was a one time thing?

It may be time to get a new email, even if it is a nuisance to have to do so, everyone knows what ours is.

Apr. 8, 2012, 02:45 PM
My gmail account was hacked last week. Not spoofed, but actually hacked and I was locked out. Gmail has a system by which you can register your IP addresses and do some additional validation to make your account more secure.

I'm not familiar w/ yahoos options.

But even if you run a tight ship on your PC, it's not necessarily a guarantee that they can't figure out your PW and get into the account.

I would say that most "hacks" are actually spoofs. But when you really do get hacked it's a PITA!

Apr. 8, 2012, 05:38 PM
2. DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINK IN AN EMAIL, EVER. Copy and paste the link into your browser on another tab if you want to see what it is.
3. Install MALWAREBYTES and keep it running/updated at all times. There is a free version but I purchase the full version, which is priceless for what it does.
4. Make sure your firewall is enabled and on at all times.
5. If your email has been hacked/compromised, shut down the account and open a new one.

I have two free email accounts, Yahoo and Hotmail, and have never once gotten a virus. Your mantra needs to be "JUST DON'T CLICK!" :yes:

Apr. 8, 2012, 05:40 PM
I use AT&T. net powered by Yahoo!. And I've already decided that it's probably my service providers lack of security measures,

This is absolutely untrue. It is the security measures on YOUR computer that need to change. Your service provider has nothing to do with it. Do you have your firewall enabled? Do you have up-to-date anti-virus protection running 24/7?

Apr. 8, 2012, 05:46 PM
This happened to me, and it was because another person on my contact list was hacked or spoofed and an email was sent to her contact list, and when I opened it they sent the same message to all of my contacts. Most of them just deleted it, but I could see it in my Sent file.

After that Hotmail forced me to change my email, so I made it much stronger.

Apr. 8, 2012, 05:49 PM
This is absolutely untrue. It is the security measures on YOUR computer that need to change. Your service provider has nothing to do with it. Do you have your firewall enabled? Do you have up-to-date anti-virus protection running 24/7?

It's a little more complicated than that. A computer virus is not the same thing as someone hacking into your email, although of course you should always use anti-virus software.

This article is long but well worth a read about email hacking and security. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/hacked/8673/

Apr. 8, 2012, 06:01 PM
Yes, I agree that it's a little more complex, but no matter what, the service provider still has nothing whatsoever to do with it. AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, whatever - it makes no difference.

They're like the electric company. If you blow a circuit in your house, it's not the electric company's fault, it's because you overloaded something.

Apr. 8, 2012, 06:12 PM
Don't confuse an email worm with hacked email.

There are plenty of email worms/trojans/bugs that scan your contact list and send out emails to your contacts/friends. This doesn't mean anyone actually has "hacked" your email.Sounds more to me like you just have a bug. These things have been around for as long as there has been email.

The rules:

1) Don't open emails that look "odd"
2) Don't ever click links in emails
3) Don't ever download attachments
4) Set your email preferences so attachments never display inline
5) Up-to-date spyware and anti-virus software

Apr. 8, 2012, 07:26 PM
With Gmail you can do this nifty (if a bit of a pain in the butt) verification step where you use a password generated by an app on your phone to verify that it's you. I have my personal laptop set up so that I only have to do that once per month but every other computer I log in on asks me for that code.

Apr. 8, 2012, 07:42 PM
Thanks for all the replies!
I am actually the Queen of "Do Not Click" - I'm pretty sure I've turned it into a religion :lol: That's why I'm so confuzzled that this keeps happening. One thing I do need to do is update my anti-virus software on my desktop. But am I correct in saying that that may not be the entire answer to the problem?
Like I said - I'm the most careful person I know when it comes to the internet. I'm just so frustrated!!!

Lord Helpus
Apr. 8, 2012, 08:56 PM
My email was hacked exactly like yours. After adding layers of security, etc., to no effect I finally added an "a" after the @ to all addresses in my address book.

An address would look like this:



Since there are no email hosting sites with those names, the mail is undeliverable. For about 3 - 4 weeks, MailerDaemon was the most prolific sender in my inbox.:D

(Occasionally, at first, I would forget to remove the "a" and my emails to others would come back too. But I quickly learned to remove the "a" before hitting send.)

After about a month I suddenly realized that no more emails were being returned. I waited another month and, just recently, I removed the extra letters from the all my email addresses..

It was the ONLY effective thing I found to do. I guess the spammers have a way to tell how many of their infected email accounts are spreading their virus. When they saw that none of their efforts were being delivered from my address, they stopped using it for their nefarious purposes.

Good Luck!