Did my email get hacked? What to do now?
March 10, 2013 6:17 PM Subscribe
I think my old email just got hacked. I received some spam, from my old email address itself, (and the "From" part had my name and email, even though I didn't send it, as the spammer did) and about a dozen "unable to deliver" messages from my old email's "mailer daemon" (this is on yahoo). In those messages and the email that was successfully delivered to me on the old email and my newer accounts, it lists countless numbers of other people and contacts, including high school teachers, bosses, family, friends, potential employers, and even friends of exes. Most of these people aren't even in my contacts list, but I still have emails from them/to them (this is an old but relatively recent email that I've kept for nostalgic reasons). I am mortified that all of these people, none of whom I've spoken to recently in at least the past couple of years (and in some cases, longer), got this spam from "me" out of the blue. Should I delete this email address, in case it may be compromised by a hacker? Should I email these people to apologize, even though we no longer are in touch? I have already changed the password and don't know what to do. Any help would be so appreciated.
posted by anonymous to human relations (17 answers total)
It happened a couple of hours ago as I was checking my email on my phone, where I can see the new mail from all of my accounts, including personal, professional and the old account. I feel so mortified and embarrassed that all these people in my old account got spam from my old email, except the addresses that were unable to receive the emails (as noted by the failure messages). Some of the people it reached were bosses, employers and friends of an ex, as well as high school teachers and admissions reps at colleges. Not everyone that got spammed were on my Contacts list, so I'm thinking that the spammer or robot that did this found the email addresses through looking at past mail. I feel such an invasion of privacy.
I have no idea how this really happened, but I'm wondering, should I email any of these people to apologize? I am not in contact with any of them anymore, (some of whom I voluntarily estranged myself from, such as an ex-friend who had drug problems) so I feel really embarrassed this happened. I'm hoping the emails went straight to the spam folder, but just thinking about the possibility it didn't makes me feel worse.
What should I do now that this happened? Should I apologize to anyone, or just let it go, as none of them are in my life anymore? Should I delete the email and change all of my other passwords? Make sure there haven't been any illegal charges on my credit card, etc? What do you think happened here?
I am very confused, so any help would be much appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!