Hack Attack! What to Do if Your Email is Hacked

Last Thursday night, after I had finished writing Tech-Knowledgy: iPad De-tech-tive, Twitter Help and Email Tips!, I checked my personal Yahoo email and found that my account had been hacked (Important note: the hack was only of my personal email, not of the email for The Wonder of Tech, which is completely separate from my personal email account). I have had this Yahoo email account for nearly ten years and have never had it hacked before.

When I discovered the hack, I was shocked and upset to realize that everyone in my address book had received an email from my account with a suspicious link. The email contained no text in the subject line and no text other than the link in the body of the email. Clicking on the link revealed a blank page, leading me to believe that the hack was to phish for active email accounts. (See, Being a Parent De-tech-tive at the bottom of the post, for an explanation of phishing.)

How  I Knew My Email Was Hacked

When I opened my inbox, I saw lots of notices of undeliverable emails:

Because I hadn’t been sending emails to anyone since earlier in the day, these notices alerted me that someone else had been sending out emails from my account. My inbox also contained reply emails from friends asking whether I had sent them this email which was helpful because I could then see what had been sent. I also received two text messages from friends to alert me that my email account had been hacked.

I also noted that none of the spam emails appeared in my Sent folder, so checking my Sent folder would not have warned me about the hacking.

*

What To Do If Your Email Has Been Hacked

1. Change your password on your email account. As with any situation, the first step is to prevent further damage. I had lots of emails from people saying that their email accounts had been hacked and that they changed their password which solved their problem.

2. Add a phony email address to your list of contacts: aaaa@aaaa.com. This email address will likely be the first contact alphabetically in your address book, so will be the first recipient of a spam email from a hacker. You will receive a mail failure notice immediately that the email wasn’t delivered. This is also a quick way of checking to see whether changing your password on your email account was effective.

3. Run your antivirus program on your computer (Norton, McAfee, AVG, etc.) to be sure your computer isn’t infected.

4. Write to everyone in your contacts list to let them know that your email was hacked and warning them not to click on the link of the previous email:

  • Make sure to send the messages to your contacts by entering their email addresses in the BCC line of your email so that you are not sending out people’s private email addresses to others. (Put your email address in the To line.)
  • Only send your message to about ten friends at a time so your warning email doesn’t end up in their Spam folders.
  • Unless your email account is very new, you will probably have people in your Contacts list you haven’t been in touch with for a while. If someone is still in your contact list whom you would rather not contact again, such as your ex-spouse, you may feel uncomfortable sending this email, but do it anyway. The Golden Rule applies here.

What To Do If You Receive an Email You Suspect Is Spam

If there is no text entered in the subject line and no text in the email other than a link, do not click on the link. You can write back to the sender to ask if they sent the link and if it is safe to click on. This alerts them if their email account has been hacked. If they really did send you the link, you should advise them always to enter a subject line and some relevant text so you know that the email is legitimately from them. If you don’t hear back from them, delete the email. But never click on a link you suspect may be spam.

**

What To Do If You Click on the Link

If you click on the hacker’s link:

  • Note the site where you are taken. Take a screenshot of the site (see Smile! It’s Awesome Screenshot Time! for instructions on how to take a screenshot).
  • Change your email password.
  • Add the aaaa@aaaa.com contact to your email account.
  • Run your antivirus program.
  • Clear your cookies and cache.
  • Let the sender know that you clicked on the link so she can keep track of what happens to people who click on the link and then contact you later if she learns any further information.
  • Watch for spam email being sent from your account.
  • Watch for phishing emails to be sent to your account (see, New Phishing Attacks Look Just Like Apple)

Don’t feel ignorant if you click on the link. At least one highly tech-savvy person clicked on the spam link that was sent out from my email account. It can happen to anyone, the important thing is taking proper steps when it happens.

How It Happened

My tech-savvy friend called me after he clicked on the link and belatedly realized it was spam. Between the two of us, we figured out how this hacker was able to get into my email account. Earlier in the week I had changed my email password (ironically to prevent things like this happening!). I was getting my car serviced at a dealership on Thursday and logged into my Yahoo account with my iPad over the dealership’s unsecured Wi-Fi network. That was a big mistake and I should have known better. I would have paid closer attention if I had been been doing something like online banking, but I just wasn’t thinking when it came to my email account. And, yes, I feel horrible that my friends were sent spam due to such a stupid move on my part.

Silver Lining

The good news is that I learned a valuable lesson: never log in to any of my accounts over an unsecured Wi-Fi network.

The other good news is that I reconnected with some people I hadn’t seen since I moved to London. Many people wrote back letting me know that they hadn’t been fooled by the spam and catching me up on their lives. One very special email I got was from the person who first recommended that I get a Palm Pilot many years ago, launching my interest in electronic gadgets.

I even got a new subscriber to The Wonder of Tech from someone who accidentally clicked on the link and then told me she needed to get more up to date on her tech knowledge. But I don’t recommend this way of getting new subscribers, especially to tech bloggers!

And I was inspired for writing this blog post which I hope will help others avoid this situation or know how to deal with it if it happens to them.

Bottom Line

If your email has been hacked, don’t panic. Take the steps listed above to protect yourself and to let your contacts know what has happened. If you receive an email from a hacked account, don’t click on the link, instead inform the sender that their email has been hacked. If you clicked on the link, take a screenshot of where the link sends you and inform the owner of the email account that sent the link. And, above all, don’t log into online accounts over unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Has your email account ever been hacked? How did you handle it? Have you ever clicked on a spam link? What happened when you did? Let us know in the Comments section below!

* Image by Vern Hart

** Image by Leonard Lin

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Comments

  1. Kathy Do says

    This may be your most helpful blog yet, and that’s saying something! Thanks for putting a personal spin on a problem that many people have faced. The info you provided was invaluable!

  2. says

    Wow, Kathy, thank you so much for your kind words of praise. I hope you never need this advice, but with the incidents of hacking increasing, everyone should take precautions.

  3. Jillian says

    I have a couple of questions about spam email. Will opening the email give me a virus? What should I do with the email if I think it’s a hacked email?

  4. says

    Hi Jillian, Welcome back to The Wonder of Tech! Great questions. Opening the email doesn’t cause the problems, clicking on the link in the email is what can get you in trouble. If you open the email but don’t click on the link, you should be fine.

    Delete the email, don’t send it to your spam folder. If you send the email to your spam folder, then future emails from your friend might end up in your spam folder instead of your inbox.
    Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Hack Attack! What to Do if Your Email is HackedMy Profile

  5. says

    Great post. I was hacked two weeks ago! Can I also add (info from the guy that fixed my laptop) you should use your SHIFT key to employ capitals and symbols to make it harder for keystroke viruses to read your passwords
    Richie Lloyd recently published this awesome post..Positive Thinking 5My Profile

    • says

      Hi Richie, Welcome back to The Wonder of Tech! Sorry to hear that the hackers got to you too! So was your computer hacked or your email account? Since you had to take your computer in for repairs, I’m thinking it was your computer that was hacked.

      That’s very helpful advice from your computer repair technician about passwords. The more difficult we make it for the hackers the better for us!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Hack Attack! What to Do if Your Email is HackedMy Profile

  6. says

    Hi Matt, Welcome back to The Wonder of Tech! Wow, thank you very much for those very helpful suggestions. Norton and McAfee are the classics, but I always like to learn about other choices. I appreciate you including the links as well!

  7. Christian Hollingsworth says

    Great thoughts here. Recently one of my old AOL emails (which I haven’t used in years) was hacked, and old contacts were making me aware of the problem. Went through the standard procedure of changing passwords, etc…It was a mess. lol

    If you can hear me hackers…Hackers, should, well; not have a pleasant existence. Use your powers for good! Watch Star Wars, and don’t be like Vader! ;)

    • says

      Hi Christian, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! Thanks for sharing your interesting story about your dormant email being hacked. You’re fortunate to have helpful friends who alerted you to the hack, otherwise you might never have known. Your story shows how important it is for everyone to notify friends if you get a suspicious email from them.

      Thanks so much for your warning to hackers, lol! I hope hackers don’t read The Wonder of Tech, but if they do, they will hopefully take your advice and watch Star Wars and be reformed! :-)
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Road Trip iExit Is Your Must-Have App!My Profile

  8. Gramps says

    Very interesting! I’m passing your info along to friends. Thanks, Tech Lady.

  9. says

    Hi Carolyn,

    My email has never been hacked, but my website has, so I know the feeling.

    I especially like your tips of adding aaaa@aaaa.com to your contact list. This is an excellent tips, and I have never thought about doing this.

    I have shut down to websites because of hackers. I just didn’t have the energy to do everything I needed to do in order to sort things out.

    I’m glad that everything is ok.

    Jens
    Jens P. Berget recently published this awesome post..Here’s your castrated cat and some chocolateMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Jens, Welcome back to The Wonder of Tech! That is horrible that your website got hacked and you had to shut it down. Unfortunately, the aaaa@aaaa.com email address can’t alert you to that problem. I hope you never have that problem with hackers again (or any other problem, for that matter!).

      Now I’m headed over to your blog as your title has intrigued me!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Road Trip iExit Is Your Must-Have App!My Profile

  10. says

    Carolyn, a great tips you have here. I’ve one email that got hacked years ago, and it’s really sucks since a lot of mails from my family were in there. Now after I have another email, I always make sure that it’s really taken care of. I even change password frequently.
    Andrew Walker recently published this awesome post..Dotster CouponsMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Andrew, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! Thank you for your kind words, I am glad you found the blog helpful. That is a huge pain that you had to close an email account because of hackers. I’m glad you are taking good care of the account and changing your password frequently. Just be sure not to change your email password or log in over an unsecured Wi-Fi network!

      Thanks for your visit and your comment!

  11. says

    I don’t think my account is going to be hacked very easy because a use a password with a lot of these ( @#$%!& ), which are very hard to hack.
    Jocuri Online recently published this awesome post..Preistoric 2My Profile

  12. says

    Now this is one blog post I am reading too late. My yahoo email id was hacked month before last and being the non-techy person that I am, I panicked and deleted the account, losing many important mails in the bargain.

    Thanks Carolyn. Watch out Mr. Hacker! I know what to do now ;)
    Urooj recently published this awesome post..Your Answer To “How Long Should A Blog Post Be”My Profile

    • says

      Hi Urooj, Welcome back to The Wonder of Tech! I am so sorry you got hacked too and deleted your Yahoo email account. Believe me, I can understand how you felt. Being hacked feels a lot like being the victim of a pickpocket, it’s a violation in a very personal sense.

      I hope your new email secure is safe and secure from hackers in the future. Thanks for your visit and your comment!

  13. Allyson Stewart says

    Hi, Carolyn

    Thanks for the post. I’m a newbie at your site and love it already! This is really useful information. In fact, I’ve bookmarked your post in case I need it in the future. You just never know.

    Email hacking happens more often than we’d like. A number of my friends have been hacked before. It’s just so sad. Thankfully, your advice can help.

    And yes, I have clicked a spam link before, either by mistake or because I was simply curious. It was a while ago, so I can’t recall exactly what happened.

    I’m taking your advice not to log into online accounts over unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

    • says

      Hi Allyson, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! Newbies are always welcome here, no matter what their level of technical knowledge. Based upon the title of your blog post, I’m thinking you aren’t a newbie to tech!

      I hope you never have need to refer back to this post because I hope your email never gets hacked! But I’m sad to say that this post is the second most popular post of all time on my blog already and the post is only a little over two weeks old. I wish it was the least popular post, but hackers are becoming more aggressive and widespread.

      Instead, I hope you have need for the information in other articles in The Wonder of Tech so you can read about the fun side of technology!

      Thanks again for your visit and for your comment.

      • Allyson Stewart says

        Thanks, Carolyn. It’s definitely sad that this post is one of the most popular, which indicates it is much needed. I do (indeed) hope I never need to put it to use.

        I’m glad to have found your blog and can’t wait to read some of your other posts.

  14. Scott Lowtwait says

    Carolyn,

    So now some enterprising hacker, after reading this, is going to create the website aaaa.com and use it to harvest valid email addresses. May I suggest instead using aaaa@aaaa.aaa. Hackers will probably not be able to create such a website.

    Otherwise great advice. I have stored the the link in my “HowTo” bookmarks.

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Scott, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! That is a truly brilliant idea! I hope no hackers are reading The Wonder of Tech, but if they are, I do believe you just foiled them. Well done.

      Thanks for your visit and your awesome comment! :-)

  15. rachel says

    Thank you so much for this post! My email may have been hacked earlier this evening and I’ve been searching for advice ever since. This post was refreshingly easy to read compared to others! I also read another good article (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2375028,00.asp) which suggests that your email might not be hacked just hijacked to send emails. This seems likely for me as 2 of my friends have had similar problems this month. What I wonder about though is that both your post and the PC Magazine article mention that you would not be able to see the messages under Sent messages. Mine did appear there. I made sure my virus software was up to date and I ran a scan which didn’t turn up anything. I’m hesitant to change my password in case I really did get hacked because I’m afraid the hacker will just get the new one. Any advice?

    Thanks! Great post again, I’ll definitely visit this site more often!

    • says

      Hi Rachel, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! I am so sorry to hear that your email account was hacked. It’s a horrible feeling, isn’t it? Since your emails appeared in your Sent folder, your situation does seem different from mine where the hacked emails sent from my account didn’t appear in my Sent folder.

      I still recommend that you change your email password to see if that solves the problem. Many people kindly wrote back to my email explaining that they had been hacked in the past too and changing their email password solved the problem. I also recommend that you take Scott’s great advice and add aaaa@aaaa.aaa to your contact list to make sure you catch another hack right away before too many emails are sent out. Next time the hacked emails sent from your account may not show up in the Sent folder.

      Thank you very much for the link to the PC Magazine article from January. The article was fascinating and did a great job of explaining what happens when someone else is sending emails out from your account. But just a warning, the article recommended LastPass, which was hacked in May: LastPass Security Breach.

      Thanks so much, Rachel, for your helpful comment!

  16. Brock says

    Hello, my email was hacked but gmail recorded the IP address. Is there anything I can do so this person stops accessing other people’s information. I feel so violated.

  17. Carolyn Ceribelli says

    Hello Carolyn, thank you for your help and I did follow the great guidelines that you mentioned above.

    • says

      Hi Carolyn, I’m sorry that happened to you, but I’m glad you were helped by the advice. Unfortunately having your email hacked is extremely common. The good news is that people understand and realize very quickly when they see an email that clearly is fake.
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Why Siri is Siri-licious!My Profile

  18. Nathan says

    Hi,
    My email has yet again been hacked in the space of a single month!

    Before being hacked first, my computer died.
    After being hacked, I promptly changed my password. Things seemed to return to normal until a few weeks later and my account has been hacked AGAIN! I am sure it is not a virus because I haven’t accessed my emails from a computer at all. I have only been using my iPad since my computer was sent away for fixing.
    This is troubling because the only way I can imagine be hacked is by one of two secure wifi networks of local cafes or a brute force attack as my new password was unique to all of my other passwords.

    • says

      Hi Nathan, Sorry, I somehow missed your message earlier. I’m also sorry that happened to you. I would suspect the hack may be related to the Wi-Fi at your local cafe. Make sure not to log in with a password to any site when you’re using public Wi-Fi.

      Good luck, I hope this hasn’t happened again.
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..What’s Your Business?My Profile

  19. John says

    I have been hacked twice inside of a month. I do NOT ‘click’ on strange links, my email account is, however, available on many different websites (amazon, verizon, etc.) though the password is different for those accounts..

    So I am very puzzled (and concerned) HOW they are hacking my email…

    McAfee finds no virus…so…what the hey?

    • says

      Hi John, I understand your frustration. It is very annoying to have your email hacked even once, but twice in a month must be exasperating.

      Are you using a public or otherwise unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot to log into your email? Are you logging in on a computer that you share with others?

      Sometimes people never figure out how their emails are hacked, but you could try changing your password once a week to see if that helps.

      Keep us posted.

      • John says

        I think I have a clue..

        My wife got me a Touchpad for birthday…I ‘hooked’ it to my Yahoo email.

        So, I betcha,that thing is not secure…

        I will ‘unhook’ and see if that cures it..

        Playing Angry Bird and get hacked…son of a gun!

  20. Sylviane Nuccio says

    Hi Carolyn, I was just looking at your older blog posts and I clicked on this one because my email address was hacked.

    What happened is that I would check my AT&T email address on yahoo as those AT&T people had told me to do when I was checking my emails from another computer, however, that’s how it was hacked. I changed the password and don’t even go on there (the yahoo one) anymore but I still receive undeliverable emails on my AT&T account.

    Is there a way to fully recover from this?
    Sylviane Nuccio recently published this awesome post..Five Simple Steps To Get Real And Valuable Back-linksMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Sylviane, I’m so sorry your email was hacked. I know how frustrating it is to have that happen. I want to help you but I’m not sure I understand what happened to you. Did you have two email addresses, one through AT&T and one through Yahoo? Which one got hacked? If you don’t use the Yahoo email account anymore, why do you still have it open instead of closing it?

      Please let me know so I can make some suggestions for you. :-)
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Load Your Kindle Lightly!My Profile

      • Sylviane Nuccio says

        I understand that it can be confusing, but when you have an AT$T account you can go online to check your email if you are not home, for example, and you type atandt.com in the browser. This sends you to a yahoo email. So, even though it is a paid email I can check it like a regular yahoo email who actually starts like my AT&T email but end with @yahoo.com.

        So, since that email was hack (the yahoo one) both my email addresses were affected.
        Sylviane Nuccio recently published this awesome post..Five Simple Steps To Get Real And Valuable Back-linksMy Profile

  21. Ina Rios says

    I am not very tech savvy and I do not use my phone to log in to my computer. So I was surprised that my computer was recently hacked. Friends started getting emails from me and my family. Luckily brother who is tech savvy emailed to ask if I sent him that email. He sent me your website. Thank you for all the valuable information. I was afraid to open my email account for fear of someone else sending yet another link to my family and friends. I hate having to change my password every week — since I have soooooooo many passwords to remember (for my work voicemail, entry to work, copier, etc, etc). Thanks again for your website.
    Ina

    • says

      Hi Ina, I’m so sorry your computer was hacked. I’m glad your brother was able to help you out. I agree, battling hackers is a pain, but unfortunately it’s a necessary evil.

      I am glad your brother showed you this website. It’s written for people who aren’t tech savvy to help them learn about The Wonders of Tech. I hope you enjoy some of the more fun articles, Ina.

  22. Dave Williams says

    Appreciate your information. My Yahoo account was similarly hacked today and I am trying to figure out what to so. I have now changed my password and security questions. Can i continue to use my email account or is it better to open a new account. Thanks again.

    • says

      Hi Dave, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech. I’m sorry to hear your Yahoo account was hacked. Changing your password and security questions should solve the problem but add aaaa@aaa.aaa as a contact so you are alerted immediately should your Yahoo mail get hacked again.

  23. Sahr says

    Hi Carolyn,
    I have been witnessing continuous meddling with this my yahoo account. Just 3 days ago, I witnessed something really odd; apparently, I had visited mail folders that I haven’t visited in quite a while and I think someone was trying to access info on my person, because they (the folders) were all related to my name. (8 folders in all) I use a mac and am the only user. I have sent 2 mails to yahoo about this problem and never got back a reply and also 2 mails to mackeeper; still awaiting their reply. by chance, I happened unto this blog of yours (not yahoo related) and found the info on here very valuable. could you please advice me on the following? yahoo says that when one logs into their mail section the header should read http://yahoo.mail, etc… I get this weird 3.usg.mail (or, something of the sort; can’t verify right now because I’m logged out of it.) No one has answered this question for me yet, including yahoo. Am I to close my account with them, feel spied upon and kind of ‘naked’ here! Please help, cause i’m so done with these creeps responsible. I am, in the meantime, following all of your most precious advice on this blog and am also bookmarking it as well. Ps. my instant messenger started acting weird as well; it would flicker once immediately after each message sent, as if someone was taking a friggin’ pix, or something of the sort. If that isn’t enough to make one paranoid, I sure as hell don’t know what is. Thank you very much in advance for any help you can give me on this again since I’m really not tech savvy as well. Sincerely, Sahr

    • says

      Hi Sahr, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech. I am very sorry this keeps happening to you. I understand how it feels to be hacked and I know what a violation it is. You don’t need to have something to hide to want privacy for your accounts.

      When I log into my Yahoo email account, the website has that prefix too so it doesn’t mean you are logging into the wrong site.

      I have a couple of questions for you. First, did you change your password on your Yahoo mail account? Second, are you having difficulty with any other sites being hacked? I’m wondering whether your computer has been hacked, not just your Yahoo mail account.

      I hope you don’t have to close your Yahoo mail account because that would be more than inconvenient. Please try deleting your permissions from Yahoo here: ” target=”_blank”>Yahoo permissions to see if that helps.

      Please keep me posted and let me know if you have been able to resolve the issue.

      • Sahr says

        Dear Carolyn, I have followed every single advice on this your wonderful, insightful, site and thread section. It is improving my knowledge of net safety quite a tad and I just wanted to drop in and state it. The flickering has ceased. I Change passwords more often now. I am also following some personal guidelines s well and any insights pertaining to them are most welcome. I now empty the cache and stored cookies clean every time I’ve surfed the net and get rid of the history on the computer as well. Wish it wouldn’t get rid of the bookmarks though. So I copy the ones I like, and paste them on a page I’ve created and stored away on a file. In that way, I can re-access the URL anytime I feel like following up on my interest of given site in question. I have a problem with finding a file worth two years of notes for a book I’m researching and have decided on bringing my mac to a shop and ask them if they can find it for me. At the same time I will ask them whether they can check and see if it has been hacked. Thank-You very much for your prompt help. Wish you a wonderful day. Sincerely Sahr :-)

        • Sahr says

          Typo: as well, etc,… Ps. I meant to say, Thank You for having helped me as quick as you did. :-)

  24. Sahr says

    Btw, it isn’t like I got something to hide, or nothing, it’s just plainly annoying and I consider it akin to a rape of my privacy.:-(

  25. Kim says

    Thanks Carolyn – Yes, I wish we could have met under better circumstances but your page was very helpful in my hour of need. I posted it on my facebook and one of my friends said that she got at least 4 such emails TODAY, all from Yahoo! accounts.

    • says

      Hey Kim, I have to say, yesterday was a very busy day at The Wonder of Tech for this article. I had triple the traffic for this article that I usually do. I wish no one ever needed to read this article, but it’s the most popular article for my blog.

      Thank you for sharing this article. I hope the next time The Wonder of Tech helps you, it is for a happier reason!

  26. Kim says

    As an extra cautionary measure, I EXPORTED ALL of my contacts to my gmail account (which I heard has much strong security measures) by saving contact file onto my Desktop as a .CSV file. I then DELETED ALL of my Yahoo! contacts. I will still get incoming/outgoing mail but I have become very wary of Yahoo! “compromising” security

  27. Meg says

    I just received some of these “no subject” emails with a link inside them from 2 of my contacts. I idiotically opened one of them out of curiosity, but rather than clicking on it directly, I highlighted it, right-clicked to copy it, and then a pop-up informed me that doing so would allow the website to see my entire clipboard, so I said no and exited it out….could I still be in trouble for even right clicking it like that? Or do you think I actualy needed to fully open the site? I feel so stupid. I’m typically very tech savvy, but I’ve never actually received anything like that before. Also, do you find it strange that 2 separate contacts sent me an email such as that? I appreciate your response.

    • says

      Hi Meg, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! Don’t be too hard on yourself about opening the email. These hackers are trying to trick you so it’s not your fault for being trusting.

      I wouldn’t think that right-clicking the link would get you in trouble, though just to be sure, you should change your password on your email account. You will feel better knowing that you took this extra step.

      I don’t think that it’s unusual that you had two contacts send you the same email, especially if they know each other. Perhaps they both fell for the hacker’s link, each allowing their email account to be hacked.

      I’m sorry you were sent these hacking emails, Meg. It’s very frustrating that we have to deal with this issue.

      Thanks for stopping by, Meg, and adding to the conversation.

      • Meg says

        Thanks for replying. That makes me feel a lot better. I did change my password (and did a malware and Norton scan), but I’m still so paranoid – but after 3 days and nothing happening, I can probably relax a bit, right?

        Ahh. I hate this stuff.

        • says

          Hi Meg, Yes, you can relax a bit now. But, unfortunately in this day and age with spammers we can never totally relax. We must stay on guard for those nasty spammers who don’t seem to be going away.

  28. jazmin says

    Hi I recently opened an email from a friend that he later told us was spam. However I didn’t open the email using my computer I used my phone. :( I’m not quite sure what I should do.

  29. John says

    I recently clicked on a link on my hotmail account. It was a “your account will be deactivated if you don’t click the link” hack. I clicked the link and it took me to a webpage with black background with huge white lettering saying HACKED. I closed my browser in about a second so that is all I saw. The page had more info but I didn’t see it.

    I ran my Anti-virus afterwards and changed my hotmail password. I am still scared that the hacker will hack into my other accounts (gmail and yahoo) which I was logged into (they are bookmarked on Firefox) at the time. Is this even possible? What should I do next?

    Please try to help me.

    • says

      Hi John, I’m so sorry that a hacker tricked you like that. I’m glad you ran the anti-virus software after you clicked on the link. Did it find any malware? I would continue to run it daily for a while to see if anything pops up. It may have been a harmless site, in spite of the warning, it’s difficult to tell. Keep an eye on your accounts to make sure they aren’t hacked.

      One thing you could try is changing your passwords on another computer, then try logging into your accounts on the computer you used to access the hacker’s site using the old passwords. See if the old passwords still work (they shouldn’t since you changed them on another computer).

      Again, I’m hoping it was a just a harmless site. Keep us posted, John.

  30. Ruth says

    My yahoo e-mail has been hacked by someone who logged in in Panama. How could they do this? I got an alert about suspicious activity but not until many e-mails were sent. I’ve uploaded a photo and changed my password to include *&^%$. I also e-mailed the contacts with a warning and made a FaceBook status too. Is that enough?

    • says

      Hi Ruth, I’m so sorry this happened to you. Make sure you run a virus scan on your computer to make sure that it isn’t infected with malicious software. I don’t know how someone in Panama could have hacked your email but it’s best to be sure that it didn’t happen because of spyware being installed on your computer. Make sure you follow the steps listed in this article. This doesn’t guarantee that it won’t happen again, but anything we can do to combat the hackers is worthwhile.

    • John says

      I checked my computer with AV yesterday and with malwarebytes and NOD32 today. I found nothing harmful.

      Also I changed the password of the hotmail account again and tried to login with the old password and it didn’t work, so I should be good there. I also deleted my contacts and mail from this account as I don’t use it often anyways. I haven’t deactivated it as I am waiting to see if it does get hacked.
      As for my gmail account, I changed that password too but not on a different computer but the old password doesn’t work anymore so I am not too worried.
      Hopefully it is just a harmless site.

  31. Michelle says

    Hi. Good post. I think that your email is vulnerable these days. Tips like these are extremely helpful.

    • says

      Hi Michelle, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this post. I hope you never need the advice given in this post, but feel free to share it with those who do.

  32. Jason says

    My e-mail has been hacked a few times now. The first time was my fault as I opened the email. The last two times I have no idea how it happened. I have changed my password each time. The only thing I can think of is my emails are on my IPAD. When I open my email on my IPAD the first email that is there automatically opens up. How do I prevent this?