There are actually several ways to send email as another person, making it look like they actually sent the email. Most of these methods don’t actually require access to the users Email mailbox. This is what we refer to as spoofing. If you’ve ever received an Email from yourself, then you know what I’m talking about.
If your friends or colleagues are receiving spam from your email account, one of two things could be happening: Either your email address is being spoofed, or your email account has been hacked or hijacked.
What to do:
- Even if you’re not sure that your account has been hijacked you should probably change your email password. This can be done through your email provide, usually right through their web based email client.
Scan your local system for infections.
- If you already have an anti-virus/anti-malware package installed, update it and run a full scan on your system.
- I usually download and install the latest copy of MalwareBytes as well. It is a great freebie that catches a lot of malware.
- I also usually run another anti-virus app like VIPRE Rescue (free) to scan the entire disk for any additional infections.