Q) My email account is telling me that I am sending out spam emails myself! I keep getting ‘message not received’ errors from emails I’ve supposedly sent in bulk. What can I do?
Cloned email account
It's possible your email address may have been ‘cloned’. This doesn’t mean that someone has accessed your account, but don’t immediately think the computer or email account has been compromised.
Hacked email account
It’s not impossible that your account has been hacked. Passwords that are too simple can sometimes be to blame for a hacked email account. Changing your password to something complex to include a capital letter and digit is really the only physical thing you can do to try to stop this from happening again.
Extreme option 1 - delete your Contacts
It may help to delete your Contacts list, in case spam emails are being sent to the addresses on this list. Note down the addresses of your contacts manually first, or export the list as a CSV file – this is usually an option within the Contacts section.
Most email programs and webmail suites can auto-generate email addresses based on the mail you receive anyway, so having a Contacts list is less essential. But keeping a backup of your contacts as a CSV file is handy – keep it saved on your computer.
You can always re-import the CSV list into the Contacts section of your email account to return the list again.
Extreme option 2 – create a new email account
If your email account continues to send out spam messages, it may be best to open a new one. You’ll need to let your contacts know that you’re changing your address, and you can import a CSV file of your contacts list from your old account into your new, more secure account.
Stay safe - be wary of unusual emails
If you ever receive an email that you aren’t sure of, don’t open any attachments or click on links within it. These actions can allow hackers to gain access to your account. If you don’t recognise an email, delete it, and don’t click links within it.