We’ve been getting a lot of complaints from people complaining about their e-mail addresses being used to spam their friends. Friends are getting mail telling them to “Hey, check out this neat site” and “Yo! Look what I’ve found.” All sorts of stuff like that.
The first thing the users think is that their e-mail accounts have been hacked. This is a possibility. In fact, the ones most commonly affected are people with addresses ending in aol.com, msn.com, and yahoo.com. These e-mail servers seem to be favorite targets.
A more likely explanation is that someone has spoofed their e-mail addresses. Their addresses can be obtained by anyone with access to a particular e-mail that was sent out with a lot of addresses on it. Or, there could be spyware on a person’s machine that is sending all the e-mail addresses on their computer to someone who just wants a list of good e-mail addresses to use in their spam campaign.
What to do? Be sure your internet security program is up to date. When sending a message to a lot of people, use BCC (blind carbon copy) instead of just CC (carbon copy). That way the addresses will not be visible to anyone who happens to get hold of the mail. Believe me, you’ll be happier than if your friends suddenly start calling you complaining about that pharmacy site you referred to them!