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Email Hijacking
Old 09-04-2013, 06:12 AM   #1
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Email Hijacking

I believe ( in fact , I know ) my email address has been "hijacked". Are your bank / checking / brokerage accounts and passwords encrypted into your hard drive? Do you need to change the account numbers and all the passwords for all the accounts or just password ?.

IT friends have recommended changing to gmail ( currently aol ) and loading new Windows software and there's no need to purchase a new computer with new hardware. We already had Kapersky security on the computer, but apparently that didn't do much good.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:30 AM   #2
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There is no way I would keep an AOL address. Run, do not walk, to move to Gmail. Change passwords to all your other online activities, including banking.

No one should still e using AOL when gmail is available, secure, and free.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:58 AM   #3
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It depends on what was done. What exactly do you mean by "hijacked". Are you using an email client like outlook express or using the web base interface ? Account info is not stored on the HD unless you told the browser to "remember" it, not a good idea.

Does the user account your running the PC with have administrator rights? If so then any antiv software will not be as effective.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:06 AM   #4
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Most likely the person just hacked your web email, and did not have access to your PC. You should be fine.

When you move to gmail, you can set up 2-factor authentication for added security. This will send a text message to your cellphone with a code to enter in order to log into gmail. It's kind of annoying, but MUCH more secure.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:15 AM   #5
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Ditto on the 2-step authentication with Gmail. Worth the trouble.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ferco View Post
I believe ( in fact , I know ) my email address has been "hijacked". Are your bank / checking / brokerage accounts and passwords encrypted into your hard drive? Do you need to change the account numbers and all the passwords for all the accounts or just password ?.

IT friends have recommended changing to gmail ( currently aol ) and loading new Windows software and there's no need to purchase a new computer with new hardware. We already had Kapersky security on the computer, but apparently that didn't do much good.
Don't have any experience with AOL, but my yahoo email (and many of my friends utilizing yahoo email) had been regularly hacked. I switched to gmail as my primary email and there has been no gmail hacking - so far. I don't like proprietary email accounts as I usually lost access when cancelling their service (AT&T, Comcast, etc). Some online email providers are getting very intrusive and are requiring/requesting you to provide personal info to maintain email with them. I dumped my "throwaway' Hotmail account because of their requirements, and maintain a "throwaway" yahoo account. Throwaway email accounts allow you to control unwanted emails. Only give gmail address to family/friends. This is what I've done to minimize email hacking.

This usually isn't a breach of your computer. Most of the hacking occurs on the yahoo servers where you store your email. Yahoo appears to be aware of this breach, but hasn't properly addressed the problem according to info on the internet). They hack the yahoo servers and obtain your stored email addresses and spam email everyone using you as the originator. This is usually evident by the addresses on the spam coming from you to your friends, with all of them being listed in the To: area and a potentially nasty link in the body of the email (I always Bcc: everyone to protect them from being spammed when I forward any good jokes). Spammers hit and run quickly (in and out of your account on the yahoo server). When this happens - you need to go into your account and change your password. Yahoo does catch this hack (sometimes), and will lock your account and require you to change your password.

It's hard to completely delete an email account. A lot of friends' email accounts remember your (old) email address, and will occasionally send you email to your old address. I keep the yahoo email address open, but have moved all files over to gmail. I also deleted all of my address book off the yahoo account to prevent future hacking.

I utilize a free email program (Zimbra) to obtain all of my email. I also store all of my email offline with this program (no synchronizing/storage of email on gmail servers for security). I back up the email on Zimbra and store it on a memory stick in case it gets lost or my computer crashes. I do obtain email on our phone, but don't delete or move email when accessing via phone to allow Zimbra to manage email. Zimbra also allows me to drag and drop any yahoo email over to my gmail files. It also allows me to turn off synchronizing on my personal files so all email is stored locally. It makes for quick email access - only files allowed to synchronize are the in, out, sent, and trash boxes. Turning off synchronizing on my junk files eliminates me having to deal with them on my computer. They are stored online and I occasionally access junk online and delete them (most email programs will delete them automatically after 30 days).

I don't allow my computer to remember passwords or store them on it. My passwords are stored on a memory stick. I use a common password body and vary it for non-essential access. Passwords are distinct for all sensitive access. I also have all sharing access turned off on my computer to help prevent hacking.

Hope this info helps.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:46 AM   #7
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What fritz said. But also, I had an old bellsouth.net account (taken over by Yahoo) that got hacked a couple of times. I set it to forward to the gmail account, so I wouldn't lose those emails while I convinced correspondents to change my addy, but more importantly I deleted ALL of the contacts stored there, so they wouldn't get spam messages when the inevitable happened and the account got hacked again.
I'd advise being sure that you've deleted any contacts stored in the old account when you forward it to your new, safer Gmail account.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:10 AM   #8
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Since many password change options use your e-mail accounts, I would take immediate steps to protect my accounts and personal information. If you are not sure what to do call the bank or investment house and talk to one of their people.
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