04/12/2012

Are you sending out emails trying desperately to get people you don’t know to buy products that may or may not increase the size of their unmentionables? For most people, the answer is no. But some may not realize that their computer or webmail account is sending out spam without their knowing. If you have webmail,(Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail etc.) you can probably tell that you’re account has been hacked. You’re getting “undeliverable” messages back from people you didn’t send emails to, or your friends are sending you messages saying they clicked on the link you sent them and now they have a virus. And don’t assume you have a virus on your computer, because you’re email account can get hacked regardless of how tight your security is on your PC. For exlample, if you have a Gmail account, somebody could have gotten your password through a hole in their system, and exploited your account without ever having to resort to putting a virus on your computer.

Another way you might be sending spam is through a POP3 client. Most people are familiar with the most popular POP3 client out there, Microsoft Outlook. It’s relatively easy to steal your email account’s credentials if there’s malware on your computer and then use your computer to send spam without your knowing. This can go on for a while before you ever figure it out.

The moral of the story is if you use webmail, change your password as often as you can stand it, and if you use a POP3 client get some good antivirus.

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