Email Hacked

18 03 2013

One of the best favors you can do for yourself, and for free, is to add yourself to your email contact lists. Many of us already have at least two email accounts but if you do not I would strongly suggest that you create a second email account.

Treat your other email accounts as if they were a friend’s email account. Send an email to yourself in every email account you use then add your new “friend” to your email contact lists. When your email account is hacked, usually for the purpose of sending spam to all of your contacts, if you are a contact in your contact list the chances are great that you will be notified of the illegal activity by yourself. Often it is rather difficult to know when your email account has been compromised unless a friend or contact happens to notice that the email they received from you isn’t quite like your others and becomes suspicious enough to inquire or for some reason your email provider notifies you of suspicious attempts to log into your account.

Yahoo is notorious for having a problem with compromised accounts although they try to protect users with information and added security measures. Perhaps because the Yahoo web-based email accounts are so popular amongst the general populous the information thieves find it more lucrative and appealing to conduct their illegal activities there. You would like to know as soon as possible if you have fallen victim to these unscrupulous vandals and Yahoo is pretty good about informing you when your IP address does not match or has changed.

So you wake up one day and head to the inbox only to find an email from yourself that you did not send. Your very next step is to sign into the account that generated this email and promptly change your password. You should be able to come up with a pretty good and easy enough to remember password if you apply a tiny bit of thought to it. Think of a phrase like ‘Pizza Is So Scrumptious With A Friend Or 22‘ then use only the first letters of each word, add a symbol or two (hyphen, dash, slash, asterisk, question mark, etc..),  and a number.

PISSWAFO-22*

Additionally you can mix the upper and lower case letters in any way you choose and add more symbols to make it even harder to decipher your personal password.

PIssWaFo-22**%

The trick is to make your password as unique as possible. Avoid using sensitive information and well known words or phrases. The more variety the better and adding numbers and symbols will triple your password’s strength. Avoid tell-tale wording such as “my password” or your phone number and sequential numbers such as 1234 and 9876. Try to make the phrase something you will remember and practice it a few times. Make it as long or short as you like but bear in mind most passwords under 6 characters offer moderate protection at best. Until you get used to your new password you may want to keep a cheat sheet for yourself in a desk drawer or a text file in your music folder. You do not want to label such as “PASSWORD” or keep it with your other documents. Why make it easy for a hacker if your computer becomes compromised.

Orange Monkeys Like 2 Buy Blue Bananas At Night Not At 3:00 Or 999.

OML2BbBAnNA3:00O999.

As you can easily see it is not very hard to make and remember a quite sophisticated password. The more you use it and say it to yourself the easier it becomes to remember and you can always add more to it or move parts around to make it even more of a challenge for bad doers to hack.

Orange Monkeys Like 2 Buy Blue Bananas At Night Not At 3:00 Or 999 And With 43 Of Their Grape-Ape Friends.*

OML2BbBAnNA3:00O999AW43OTG-aF.*

Orange Monkeys Like 2 Buy Blue Bananas With 43 Of Their Grape-Ape Friends At Night Not At 3:00 Or 999.*

OML2BbBW43OTG-aFAnNA3:00O999.*

Your next move is to change your added security questions and check carefully all your other personal information. The hackers may change information to enable them to be able to gain access to your account even if you change your password and security questions so double-check all of your personal information and associated email accounts carefully. The last thing you should do is notify the email carrier about the compromise to your account information and the fact that you have changed your password and security questions and answers, and verified all your personal and contact information is correct.

Think before you click. Be careful of where you use other accounts to sign in. There are many websites that can become compromised easily and you could end up signing into a bogus website that will save your information for a hacking to occur later. I find it is rather convenient to be able to use my Facebook, Twitter or MSN account to sign into an account on another website but I have found that it is much safer for me to simply try to sign in without the convenient aid of these applications. As with any technology the applications that have the potential to make our lives simpler also have the potential to do harm. Be aware and be safe.








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