Why am I receiving emails that seem to come from my friends but my friends did not send them? When I clicked on the link in the email it shut down my computer and it would not restart. Why is this happening and how can I prevent it?

One of the reasons that you have received this ‘bogus’ email is that you did not secure your account with a strong password and a ‘dictionary attack’ allowed the hackers to fast access.  A ‘dictionary attack’ is a method of breaking into a password-protected computer or server by systematically entering every word in a dictionary as a password. Dictionary attacks work because many computer users and businesses insist on using ordinary words as passwords.

The best password you can use is the first letter of words in a short sentence, include a number, symbol, upper and lower case letter.  For example ‘ My Flower garden Is 4 years Old.”  = MFgI4yO$$  This is a very strong password and will be almost impossible to decipher. It is also wise to change your password from time to time.

Another reason that a hacker infiltrated your computer is that you are on a list of emails that circulate the internet via emails that contain a long list of email addresses in the ‘To” or “CC” lines of an email and get forwarded numerous times.

Always use the ‘BCC’ line when sending to more than one recipient and delete all the email addresses that appear on an email before forwarding. This preserves your recipient’s privacy and prevents ‘web crawlers’ from picking up the list of addresses including yours.

Forwarded emails are sometimes infected with viruses which get into your computer when received.

You need a good AntiVirus program that will protect your computer from dubious emails and malware attacks. I recommend Norton 360 good for 3 computers, available via a safe download here.  I have also supplied a FREE tutorial that you can print and follow to run the software regularly.

Weekly Computer Maintenance is also a must: Run “Disk Cleanup” – “Error Checking” –  “Defragmentation.”  This 3 part process keeps your computer free of Tempory Files, Cookies and unecessary files that are downloaded automatically from the internet causing your computer to slow down and sometimes malfunction.

Posted in: Email, Internet Security