It happens to everyone who has an email address: you’re sending spam out to friends and family without knowing it.
No one likes to hear from a distant relative or friend you haven’t spoken to in years because you’re sending them spam emails. There are a few ways to tackle this issue, and some things to know. You’ll want to try and act as fast as possible, and remember to reach out to others if they start sending spam because they may not know it and will need to take steps to stop it.
Your first step in this situation is always to change your email password. It may not be necessary as there are other ways to make it look like you’re sending spam, but if your email was actually compromised, change your password and see if that stops the spam messages. Remember if you’re using this password for other services as well you’ll want to change those so hackers cannot get into any other accounts that you have online.
Another popular way that they can be sending spam “from” your email address is with spoofing. Hackers will spoof your email address so it looks like it’s coming from you instead of their actual email and it becomes more likely your friends and family will open it. They can get your email address for this by purchasing it from a list of emails or if a virus or trojan is inside yours or a friend or family members computer. In the second situation, a friend could have a virus and that virus is using emails in your friends contacts to send out spam. Unfortunately in this case there is not much you can do to stop the spammers.
In order to ensure it is not coming from a problem on your end, remember to change your email password and do a full scan of your computer for malware and viruses.