Hackers can commandeer your email accounts and send spam from these email accounts. Many of the standard fix-its — antivirus programs, malware removers, such as: norton,mcafee,combofix.orgntacting user groups — can fail to stop this kind of spamming. This tip describes a little-publicized approach that can, for many, immediately stop such spamming in its tracks.
You’ve been hacked.
Your email account is sending spam to your contacts in your name. Porn ads, Viagra pitches, and sketchy invitations to transfer money have your email address on them. It’s embarrassing.
How do you stop it?
You can run an antivirus program, a malware remover, (such as Max Spyware Detector) and change your password.
You can contact customer support for your email provider or ISP and see what they can do.
You can contact online help such as user forums, or paid consultants.
The trouble is, all of the above can be time-consuming and pricey, with no guarantee of a fix.
There’s another card you can play, though, that can work very quickly. Try this:
1) Open a new email account in Gmail.
2) Transfer your contact list from your hacked email account to your new Gmail account. Gmail makes this simple.
3) Delete your contact list from your hacked account. Spammers often depend on your contact list to send spam. If it’s gone, they’ll have no spam targets. Rats vanish when there’s no food source.
4) Keep your hacked account open. Continue to receive email in your hacked account as usual. You can even send emails from your account. Just don’t put a recipient’s address in your empty contact list.
Tip: You can still use your Gmail contact list in your hacked email account. Here’s how: In your Gmail account, open up a blank email and put in the recipient’s address from the contact list. Cut and paste this address into the email you are composing in your hacked account.
You can also do this also with groups of addresses, such as mailing lists.
Another tip: You can inform your friends and associates about your new Gmail account, if you want to. Eventually, it can become your primary email account. There’s no hurry; this migration can be gradual. You won’t miss any emails from abruptly shutting down your hacked account.
There is no guarantee that emptying your contact list into a new Gmail box will solve your spamming problem, but this little-publicized approach has worked for many. A big upside to this approach is that, if you eventually root out the cause of the spamming, you can move your contact list back into your original email account.
It’s worth a try.