Are your friends telling you they are getting spam emails from you?  Are you getting bounce notices from emails you didn't send?  Your email has been compromised.

How did this happen?  How can you fix it?

 

It probably happened because your email and access info was "harvested".  You accepted a low-security app on one of your social sites, and either the creators of the app or someone hacking the app harvested your info from it.  Or, you accessed your social site on a public wireless connection and someone listening in on that public system "harvested" your info.

A second reason your email is spewing spam might be because a spammer is spoofing your email.  This means they are sending spam from their own email, but saying it's from yours.  You can't do anything about this, but fortunately, this is not as common as it use to be.  Most mail servers have a check for this.  You can say an email is from one place, but if the actual travel logs for it don't match up, most mail servers will block it and your friends never see it. So, more than likely, you are having your email woes because your info was harvested.

But say your email actually was hacked.  How can you fix?

  1. Log into your email via webmail and change your password. (Remember to update your phone and Outlook with your new password if you get your emails there.)
  2. Change your password for every site you use where your email is your username.  Facebook works this way, but there may be others.
  3. Change your password on every site where you used that same password.  Sorry, but that password is now dead to you.
  4. When you are using a public access wireless network, don't access any sites that have your personal email or password info on it UNLESS you are connecting using a secure connection.  Hackers can still "listen" to your connection, but most can't understand it because it's encrypted.  What is a secure connection?  For a website, the ULR starts with https://.