Having your email account hacked

Having your email account hacked

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Email accounts being hacked is nothing new, but having had my personal email hacked in March I thought I would elaborated on what happens, why and how to easily rectify the problem.
Since starting the business in 2007, I cannot remember a month where I have not received an email from a friend or customer whose email account has been hacked.  In March this number increased dramatically and I even found that my own personal Yahoo email account had been hacked.  Apparently hackers had identified a flaw in Yahoo’s security and had compromised a large number of email accounts.  Yahoo claim that the issue has been resolved but have advised users to ensure that their passwords are secure.

So what happens?

An email account is hacked and instead of locking you out of it or deleting emails they use your contacts to send spam emails.  It is an advantage to use your account as your contacts are more likely follow email links sent from people they know.

The good news is they are easy to spot, you will receive an email with a blue website link inside, like this http://www.boguswebsite-givenmeyourmoney.com.  Obviously they do not use such an obviously bogus website name, but you should treat it like it is and not click it!  Remember the person who sent you the email probably does not know you have been sent this or that their account has been hacked.  So it is best to just email them back informing them of what you have received.

How to rectify the problem:

To resolve the issue you simply need to login to your email account and change your password.
The strength of your password is governed by its length, variation of characters and by not using of common words/names.  So as covered in a previous article, the best passwords are complete ‘X4ET3D@H8’ jargon!  Jargon passwords are tough to remember, so I think random words with numbers are easier to remember but still secure for example ‘SunnyFridge7304’ – all very random but difficult for anyone to guess or for hackers to compromise.

What can you do to prevent your email account being hacked?

The best preventative measure is to have a secure password and to inform your contacts of the tell-tale signs that someone’s email account has been hacked.
If you are concerned at all or you have any other queries please get in touch, Ian.