Can any of you "geeks" explain this to me?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have an unusal email address and haven't had problems until recently. I don't understand what is happening and I don't know what, if anything, I should do.

    Yesterday (3rd time) I received an email from a relative saying "was this you or an unknown?" Sure enough there was an email that had been sent from my email address...not from me. The first time the email was addressed to about ten people and I only recognized two names...not commonly used names but people with whom I've exchanged one or two emails in the past few years. The second time it was also a group that included my son's work email and unknowns. Yesterday it appeared to just have gone to this one remote relative.

    What's going on? What, if anything, should I do about it? When I say "I do" I actually mean what should I hire the computer dude to do?

    by the way you all who are younger have no idea how simple life was when every family had one phone to share and communication was limited to your phone, snail mail and a Western Union telegram when there was a death in the family. Sigh. DDD
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You have a virus or somesuch. You need the computer dude to clean it.

    If it continues to happen, you will need to change your email address. It may be being spoofed... :sigh:
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    A couple questions -

    DO you use Wifi? If yes - then you could have been hacked....

    Maybe you have an easy to guess password?

    If so someone could have hacked your email account and is randomly sending emails to all your contacts. Happens a lot more than anyone thinks because we all don't change our email password to at least an 8 letter, numeric, coded, encrypted passcode daily, or weekly or at least bi-weekly. OH - like most of us - yearly? Longer? Ut oh.

    What Spyware do you run automatically? There are a lot out there that are free - and if you aren't running it manually at least weekly? You're going to have problems with - trojans, hackers, viruses.

    Avira is free and one of the best I've found. (if you need help for a link let me know)

    Also - the best thing you can do right now?

    Change ALL your email passwords -

    Then EMail ALL your contacts that got emails sent (Check your SENT folder), tell them TO IGNORE and NOT open any mail with odd or short messages sent on such and such a date.

    Then run a scan of your entire system with the antivirus again. Delete any viruses or trojans etc. that pop up.

    It may not be that big of a deal - and then I'd make SURE you change your wi-fi password at least every three days or so. Even if you aren't on wi-fi? I'd change my password - and encrypt it - like this

    Not - IloveAce8 - too easy to guess - More something like - #2Abli*Gj29#** - harder to crack.....series of capital letters, lower case, symbols and numbers.

    Then delete the sent emails that were a problem too.

    Hope this helps.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Even if you clean your computer now, whoever got your email address and your address book (email contacts) will have it for however long they want to keep it.

    A while ago, I had a similar issue when I was getting delivery failure notices for messages I never sent. Eventually it stopped.

    Also, anyone can use any email address and set it as the "sent from" address. Of course, the only ppl that would do this are the same ppl that would use a trojan or worm or whatever to get info off of your machine.

    Run your antivirus and antispyware/maleware software.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Password hint: <not that I actually DO this, but...>
    Security experts at one of my clients recommended never using WORDS in a password.
    But random characters and numbers are really hard to remember - and a password that has to be written down isn't good either.
    Their recommendation?
    Come up with a sentence, and then use the numerics for numbers, and the first letter of each word for alphas.

    Sentence: I joined the Conduct Disorders board in 1974.
    Password: IjtCDbi1974
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Another good choice is, if you can - use random characters:


    So - uppercase, special, number, special, lowercase, number, lowercase, uppercase. (DO NOT USE THIS ONE, IT'S A GENERIC IT PASSWORD!!!)

    More than 8 characters is good, too. The longer the password, the harder it is to break.

    Numbers in a row - 1234 - are not good. But, !@#$ can be - with stuff between.

    We have smartcards - my pin would be easy IF you knew my strategy.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I think you've been hacked. I agree with-the password info here.
    Best of luck! So sorry.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When this has happened to me I just change my email password and it fixes the problem.

  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have good passwords that no one would ever guess unless they really lived my life. And not even my kids would know. Thats how good I thunk them up...lmao. I have a strange memory for some useless numbers from my past life. Like who would remember their first cars license plate number? We are talking the car I got when I was 16! I have certain passwords for boards like this, certain passwords for emails and FB and then two very special ones for banking and paypal.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Errr.... Janet.... I remember my first password when I came to work for this company in 2003.

    My home telephone number when I lived in El Paso (and we've been gone 24.5 years).

    My best friend's grandma's phone number when we were 4 y/o...
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    There's a free software that you can download called "Malwarebytes". Down load that, and run a full scan on your computer. It will isolate any viruses and you can scrub them. That's the start. The second is to get the guy to look at your computer. The third is to call all of your banks and credit cards and be sure that your identity is ok.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone. The computer dude comes tomorrow and he is going to check it out. He also likes malwarebytes and is going to install it and make sure I understand what to do, lol.

    What do the perpetrators get out of doing this? I don't "get it". DDD
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    If they can spam everyone in your address book and get them to click a link in email...

    That link could take them to a page that installs a keylogger...

    And they get passwords...

    Banking, etc...
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Yuk! I would assume many people would open an email from me...especially because I don't stay in touch regularly. DDD