Millions of people use Microsoft Outlook to communicate via email every day, but how much do you know about the various email pitfalls you may encounter? A knowledgeable user is a smart user, so if you have never heard of spoofing, please read on.
Have you ever had a buddy call you and ask why you are sending him advertisements for the latest diet pill when you have done no such thing? If so, there is a chance your email address has been spoofed. Spoofing is a practice used by spammers where they change an email header’s “from” address and make it look like it was send from a personal email address, like your email address.
So when your friend receives the spam email telling him how he can build muscle and lose fat, it looks like you sent it. The problem is that it typically doesn’t end with just one email. The spammers blast out thousands of emails advertising whatever it is that they want to sell and you are the lucky person that will receive back all the “unable to deliver” messages, mixed in with calls from your friends to tell you to remove them from your correspondences.
If this has happened to you or ever happens to you in the future, the first thing you should do is run a reliable anti-virus scan on your machine. It is important to make sure that a hacker hasn’t compromised your computer. It is also an excellent time to change your email password, which you should be doing on a regular basis anyway. Finally, you will want to reset your account settings.
Knowledge is power and the more you are able to identify phishing scams, bogus emails and the like the easier it will be to safeguard your account against future attacks.