Is your email address being used to send spam to your contacts? Whether you use it for personal or commercial purposes (or both), it’s frustrating when your email address gets flagged for spam. Maybe a contact on your address list reached out to notify you about the issue, or perhaps you discovered it yourself with reviewing emails in your “sent” folder. Regardless, if your email address is being used to send spam, you should take immediate action to stop it.
Spoofing is an email-related cyber threat that involves forging the sender address of an email. In other. By default, standard email protocols don’t use authentication to verify the sender address of emails. As a result, it’s possible for hackers or other nefarious individuals to use a fake sender address. Known as spoofing, it may result in spam emails featuring your email address as the sender address.
With spoofing, the recipient thinks the email was sent from a legitimate person or business when it was actually sent from a hacker. After all, spoofing changes the sender address. If a hacker changes the sender address to your email address, it may result in your email address being flagged by recipients for spam.
If your email address hasn’t been spoofed, it’s probably been hijacked. Email hijacking is a catch-all term used to describe the unauthorized access and/or use an email address. In other words, a hacker has literally taken control of your email account and is using it to send spam.
What You Should Do
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent hackers from spoofing your email address. If a hacker is sending spoofed emails to your contacts, you can reach out to those contacts to inform them of the issue. Aside from that, however, the only real preventative measure is to deploy optional authentication protocols.
If your email address has been hijacked, on the other hand, there are steps you can take to regain control of it. First and foremost, log in to your email account and change your password. Don’t use the same password that you use for other logins. Rather, create an entirely new password consisting of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
For additional protection, consider enabling two-factor authentication in your email account. With two-factor authentication, you’ll have to enter your username and password, as well as some other type of information, to log in and use your email.