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Is someone else using your email address?

Is someone else using your email address?

Have you ever received an email from someone who is impersonating someone you know? Perhaps you have received an email from your very own address?

This is a common problem with email and a recent spate of phishing messages has people worried their computer has been hacked.

Most of the times this is not the case, the spammer has merely taken advantage of a long-term weakness in email protocols. It is a simple matter to forge an email address. Whether or not the recipient accepts the forged email depends on:

  • the quality of the incoming mail filter
  • the quality of the forged content (does it appear legitimate?)
  • the recipient’s attention to detail
  • whether the sender used any email authentication methods
He’s wearing a hoodie with a cap…he must be a hacker!

HostAway can add an authentication method to your email hosting account called an SPF record, which stands for Sender Policy Framework.

This tells other mail servers who is allowed to send emails on your behalf. Not all mail servers follow the same rules, however this certainly improves your chances that the only emails people will receive from your address have actually been sent by you!

A valid SPF record will also help avoid your legitimate emails from being marked as spam.

Other Recommendations?

  • Don’t open or click on emails from unknown senders
  • Run a reliable and up-to-date Anti Virus software
  • Check email addresses and URLs, and hover before you click! Many times spammers will switch around a letter or two from a valid domain name e.g. support@hostoway.net.au
  • Be careful when viewing emails on smartphones as the warnings signs may not be displayed properly
  • Have a backup solution and test it regularly

Please contact us if you’d like to discuss this in more detail.

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