So yesterday, I thought my e-mail had been hacked when several contacts on my Gmail account notified me of a suspicious email that had as a heading line:
RE: Fr Stephen Smuts – 7/14/2014 10:36:01 AM
There was only a single link contained in the mail which my own antivirus wouldn’t let me open. Much to my embarrassment, the email was not generated, complied nor sent by me, though I could clearly see the ‘contacts’ who had been selected and contacted (the Bishop included) when a friend emailed me back asking what a spam mail from me was all about?!
Frantically, I spent a large part of the day beefing up my security – changing passwords, settings, doing virus and malware scans etc. I hope it has worked for I would hate to have to change my email address because the present one is somehow compromised! If anyone else has received such an email, please ignore, let me know, and definitely (!) do not click on the link.
But after having subsequently done some further googling, this is what I’ve come across:
If your Contacts received spam from you, or if you find access activity that you can’t account for, we suggest following all the steps outlined in the Gmail security checklist to make sure your account is secure.
We are very concerned about this activity. Please obtain the full headers of the spam message from Sent Mail or from one of your Contacts, and report it to our team. We’ll investigate your report, but we’re unable to respond to individual cases. In particular, please note that we aren’t able to provide you with information about attempted logins to your account including, but not limited to, the IP address from which the attempted login was made, and the time and date attempted logins occurred.
I only use a laptop for all my Internet work. So I tried to report the incident but couldn’t convert the mail to the .txt required, so I basically gave up, hoping and praying instead that this doesn’t happen to me again.
Is Gmail safe? That becomes my next question.