I received yet another email yesterday from a customer with a Hotmail email address although I know the customer didn’t actually send it to me herself – it was a spam email which went out to everyone on her hotmail contact list.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve received this same spam email from Hotmail users (probably hundreds of times since the middle of last year)!
It seems to be happening more frequently now though, so if you are a Hotmail user, you should go check your Hotmail contact list/address book because this virus or hack or whatever it is has also been known to delete your contacts list after it has sent the email out (although it doesn’t always delete it – sometimes it just sends the email alone).
The good news is that because your Hotmail email account and contact list/address book is stored on the Hotmail server, then the breech is most probably there and not on your PC.
The bad news is that at the time of posting this, Hotmail don’t seem keen to admit that the problem may be stemming from their end. And because Hotmail won’t admit there’s anything wrong, they haven’t done anything about this problem for months (to my knowledge).
The Microsoft tech guy and others do appear to answer questions about it on forums, but they all seem to give the same standard reply – telling Hotmail users that they must have a virus on their PC or someone must have guessed their password so they should change it!
If you are a Hotmail user and you’ve come across this problem, it’s unlikely that your PC is infected – so far it looks very much like this could be a server-side webmail problem rather than a problem on your local PC (as I said, Hotmail email runs on Microsofts servers, not your local computer).
Just the same though, it’s always worthwhile updating your anti-virus program and running a full system scan, just to be on the safe side.
If your ant-virus scan doesn’t pick anything up, then that doesn’t necessarily mean your PC is clean…it could also be be malware or spyware which is a little different to a virus – many anti-virus softwares don’t pick up on these…
I’ve been using a free program for many years called Spybot which seems to be quite good at picking up on any spyware that anti-virus can miss:CLICK HERE
Just one more thing…it’s a good idea to put your OWN email address in your address book or contacts list.
That way, if your email does get compromised and a message goes out to everyone on your contacts list, you’ll receive it too. By doing this one simple thing, it may not stop you email security being breeched, but at least you’ll know about any problem immediately rather than having to wait for a friend or someone else to let you know about it…