Keeping an eye on all e-mail accounts

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Wednesday July 17, 2013 at 10:00am
We can all become complacent that our e-mail accounts are safe, and that we won’t be the ones to be ‘hacked’. But this is precisely what happened to me last week.

An old business BT internet account that had been hardly used for several years got hacked by an individual with an apparent Australian domain. My account was taken over and spam e-mail sent to all my old addresses within this account - as if from me advertising some page on benefits claimants in the UK.

It could have been so much worse. A few people contacted me enquiring what was happening. I advised that I had been ‘hacked’. I immediately altered my user-name and password for this account to prevent a repeat. I reported the abuse to BT internet, although they advised this was sadly a rather common occurrence.

What I have learnt from this ‘bolt-out-of-the-blue’ is that nobody is safe, even those who preach data security. The lesson I have taken away and will now be passing on to clients and contacts is that any old, unused account should be closed down after they become redundant. Alternatively, a regular change of password could prevent this situation occurring.

Follow the tips for creating a strong password in our earlier blog. It is also wise to rotate and alter passwords frequently. Conduct regular anti-virus checks of your PC to ensure that no unwanted code is lying dormant.

In summary it is important to watch over all e-mail accounts, check the status of your contacts bar and delete unwanted or out of date contacts that are no longer required. Remember, someone is watching!

Marcus Allen
Parker Management Consultants

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