3 Ways to Stop Spam Emails

Are you sending spam emails to your friends? You may be and not even know it. I’ve been getting a lot of spam from people lately whose email was been hacked. If you dont stay on top of things you are at risk of getting hacked and spreading viruses to all of your friends. This is true for you Mac users too! While having your computer or email hacked is a pain in the butt, it doesn’t have to be. Let me give you 3 tips to help you keep from getting hacked help yourself if you are.

1. Change your password

Spammers may have gotten access to your email because they somehow got your password. If you change your password this should stop the spam from being sent. Remember passwords should not be words that can be looked up in the dictionary.  Passwords also should never include  obvious things  either like your birthday or mother’s maiden name. A good password should include numbers and letters and it can even include other symbols like %,$,# as well. Please don’t EVER make your password, “password” or “123456” or something like that. these are way too easy to hack.

Tip. If you have a WordPress website, the default username is usually “Admin.” Hackers know this and so if keep your username as admin, it makes it a LOT easier for hackers to break into your website. You can change your WordPress username in the “users” menu of your WordPress Dashboard.

2. Update your antivirus

If your antivirus is not up to date, your computer can be easily hijacked. If you do not have an antivirus, here is the Free Microsoft Antivirus program. There are a lot of free antivurus programs but I believe the Microsoft antivurus is one of the best of the free programs out there.

Just as a double check, run the free online antivirus scan that you can use at Eset, the makers of NOD32 which I feel is the best antivirus today. Eset, NOD 32 is what I use. It does NOT slow down your PC and NOD 32 gives a better defense  from viruses than free antivirus programs.

Also, Don’t believe the myth that only PCs get viruses. Macs are more prone to get a virus because most Mac users don’t use antivirus protection. Here is a New York Times article on Macs and computer virus’s that proves it.  And here is the best antivirus for the Mac.

In addition make sure you are using  – and installing – automatic updates from Microsoft. This keeps your operating system up to date. Microsoft sends out updates on a regular basis.

3. Use the MRT program

Did you know that your windows PC has program that can help you stop the spread of viruses etc? It’s called the Malicious Software Removal Tool from Microsoft, abbreviated as MRT. Here is how to use it:

  • Click Start
  • Then in the search box type MRT
  • Click the MRT program to open it

If you have never run MRT  before do a “comprehensive scan”. It will take over an hour to complete but it’s worth it. This is not the same as an antivirus program but it can definitely help. Microsoft really should make an MRT icon for the desktop because most people don’t even know it exists.

One last thing, no antivirus will protect you if you open attachments from people you don’t know. Be very careful about this and also be careful about who you share your email password with. Changing your email password regularly can also help you from getting hacked.

What do you think?

Comments

  1. Jasper Silvis says

    Hi Joe. Mentioning WordPress made me think of the security I place on my customer WordPress based sites (church and local businesses). Even if you do not use the default “Admin” account, most people setting up WordPress blogs that create a customer administrator account still use that same account when publishing content. So all a hacker has to do is visit your blog and look for the author of your posts and he has your administrator account name.

    What I do is (1) create an administrator account with a non-obvious name, (2) remove the default “Admin” account, (3) create an author account for all the posts (not an admin account). That way, I only log in as the admin when doing admin work and log in as the less-privileged author account when posting content.”

  2. says

    The biggest problem may no longer be spam or hacking but may be spunk – junk email from lists that YOU subscribe to because they might have something useful to learn.

    The curse of the Age of Information Overload (www.induceddyslexia.com) is that it is now so easy to acquire information (“Google it”) that the real key to wisdom is not the information but the ability to filter it and realize what is real and useful.

    “Technology is the use of increasingly accurate, self-evident, and reproducible information to replace energy and matter. The benefit of technology is NOT in what it lets people accomplish, but in how it improves the character of people.”

    • Joe Cannon says

      Allen, good points and so true. I actually wrote this post because I was literally getting a LOT of spam from people who I knew. I was positive -and my suspicious were confirmed many times – it was not them but rather people who hacked into their email. I was amazed how often this was happening.

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