My yahoo email account that I had for ages got hacked yesterday. Zillions of spam links went out to my contact list. I'd been wanting to get out of yahoo for awhile, especially that email, because it was a conglomeration of writing/blogging contacts, friends and family, old Yahoo groups, spammers and who knows what all. So the hacker did me a favor. I now have separate accounts for friends and family, and for writing contacts.
So if any of you got a weird funky email from my yahoo account, ignore it, don't open it and delete that address. I can be reached at the email listed on my sidebar. Goodbye Yahoo.
Apparently a lot of yahoo users have been hacked recently. Here's a few basics for avoiding it:
* If you get a message with "no subject" DO NOT OPEN IT. If you do anyway, and it contains a link, DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. Even if the message comes from someone you know, if there is no subject, do not open. I did it the day before I got hacked. I didn't click on the link, but opened the message, and the next day my email was no longer under my control.
* Change passwords frequently. I knew this and had gone around and changed passwords on my other emails, my blog, twitter account but hadn't done it with this old yahoo account. Then once I got hacked, even changing the password didn't stop it. For all I know, messages from there are still going out to my contact list. I deleted the contact list but who knows-- these people have their ways. They know how to do stuff the rest of us couldn't even dream of.
* Don't stay "signed in" on your computer. There's the little box you can check, and it's a temptation to avoid having to sign in every time, but don't do it. And when you're done with your email business, or facebook, twitter or whatever account, (especially your online banking!) sign out.
* If changing passwords doesn't fix the problem, they may have gotten control of your email. Better change accounts altogether.
There may be more you can do too, but I'm not an expert on this obviously, or I would never have become a victim. Chime in if you have more tips and info, and let us know what other steps we need to do to protect ourselves and our contacts from evil hackers.
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf