Hijacked computer contacts list--what to do

<p>My BIL & others have had their contacts list hijacked & sending out messages that they were mugged while on foreign travel, need money, etc. Any suggestions on what they should do at this point? How do they figure out how they were hijacked & how to prevent it from happening further? What should they do now?</p>

<p>Would welcome any thoughts on this subject.
Thanks!</p>

<p>Change the password immediately to a more secure one. That usually stops the current issue. Change it regularly helps prevent the future issues.</p>

<p>was it a Google email account? This happened to two friends of mine. Both were gmail accounts.</p>

<p>There is a blog (can’t post the link because it is a blog )under the name Carolina Valdez Miller. com entry under the month of November 2011 bottom far right column which goes thru the steps she did to undo the damage.</p>

<p>It depends on what was hijacked and how it was done. If it was an online account that was hacked, like their email account, they should change the password immediately to a non-obvious one (not their name, not their birthdate, not ‘password’, etc.) and they should contact any of their more immediate relatives and friends and let them know it was hijacked so if they get an email requesting money DON’T send any. This is especially true for any elderly relatives. If phone number were available as part of the hacking then they should call the elderly relatives whose numbers may have been hacked and tell them the same thing - DON’T send any money.</p>

<p>They should also check any online banking or shopping accounts they might have and change all of those passwords since once one has access to an email account they can often ‘reset’ the banking password to a new one and then access the bank account and empty it! Or, they could go on a buying spree on Amazon or something.</p>

<p>If it was the computer itself that was hacked they should still do the above warnings to relatives/friends but they should also run anti-virus and anti-malware scan programs against the computer - Stinger from McAfee, malwarebytes, ad-aware, and the like.</p>

<p>I have heard that having different passwords for different purposes can really help alleviate this issue. For example, e-mail one password; online orders a different (and stronger - several letter/number combos - like “some123day456”) password; bulletin boards (like CC) a different password, Facebook different password…etc.</p>

<p>I have received several of those “stranded in a foreign country” e-mails and have never believed a one of them, due to the vernacular within the e-mail text. “I’m freaking right now”…that one was from a 77 year-old friend who lives in Hungary! I hardly thought she would say that. Lo & behold, she did not! :)</p>

<p>Thanks–have never believed these emails but never known what to advise the people whose accounts were hijacked either. Thanks for these suggestions. Creepy how easily these nasty folks get in & try wheedling $$$ out of others. ICK!</p>

<p>JustAMom:</p>

<p>The problem is, think about it, most of the ‘online’ (banking, shopping, etc.) accounts can have the passwords ‘reset’ where the online company sends the new reset password to your email. Someone who hijacked the email can use this to provide themselves with new passwords to the online accounts.</p>

<p>You’re right that different passwords should be used but the above scenario is a failing in the security logic of many online accounts including banking. It’s a scenario many people don’t think about.</p>

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<p>First thing to do is relax. This happens to everybody. Part of life on the Internet. Next, change passwords on all email and social media accounts</p>

<p>One major way to prevent this is the future is to make sure to use different passwords for each and every single online account. I know it’s a pain in the neck but is necessary.</p>

<p>Yahoo, Google and others also have Help sections having to do with online security. Read and follow the directions.</p>