Preventing Hacked Emails

Have you ever received an email from a trusted friend where the content of the email was simply a website link which upon clicking sent you to a Viagra website?

These strange emails indicate your email address has been hacked by hackers accessing your contacts and sending off spam garbage and other potential viruses.

How do you deal with this?  The first thing is to answer the following questions in order to narrow down the ways the hacker was able to access your computer in the first place:

  1. Do you have an anti-virus program? In a previous article I indicate the importance of picking a proper anti-virus program.  With the competition of today, most programs offer a 30 to 90 day trial period.  After expiration you can continue to use a slim down version of the program if you choose or just buy the full version.
  2. Is your current anti-virus program set for automatic scans? This is a feature for those who are too busy to do manual scans, especially if you are constantly using the computer.  Automatic scans run behind the scenes so you can continue to do your work.  The computer will operate at a slower pace during this time, but with frequent scans the process can take less than 30 minutes.  This can also be configured to scan your email application and can quarantine suspicious items.
  3. When was the last time you received updates from Windows and actually installed them? If you are on your PC, Windows will automatically notify you of updates.  This is usually an official notification and should not be ignored.  If you are not a PC geek, I recommended that you set your Windows Update to automatic installation.  Hackers love to attack the PC operating systems, and the experts at Microsoft are continually fighting them with new updates.  Installing the updates can take some time.  I recommend it be done before going to sleep or when you will not be using the computer for a few hours.
  4. How often is your computer hacked into? This is something you will have to monitor and take action if you suspect your computer is being controlled by someone else.   Pay particular attention to changes on your desktop, or odd programs that are installed.  If you are pretty competent with PC’s then remove these programs, but only after making sure it isn’t essential for the normal function of your computer.

If you use a good anti-virus program and keep your Windows updates current, but  are still having problems then your computer needs the assistance of a computer professional.  I am available for any questions on Skype: patient.computer.tutor or email: [email protected]

David Goes has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and computer industry.  He holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems with cum laude designation.  His expertise is in providing computer solutions that deliver business value and personal efficiency through database management, computer optimization, and online marketing.

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