Don’t Let Spoofing Haunt Your Email

newsletter-spoofingEveryone knows about spam, but most people don’t know about an increasing trend is called spoofing.

Spoofing is a tactic used by spammers to send their content so that it appears to come from another’s email address, when in reality it was sent by someone else. While spoofing, unlike hacking, does not typically compromise the security of your email account, this can indirectly affect related security issues if they would ask recipients to change their passwords to a specific string or request recipients to send them sensitive files or information.

How Can I Prevent My Email Address from Being Spoofed?

There is no absolute, sure-fire way to prevent spoofing of your email address. However, there are two things you can do to greatly reduce the chance that this can happen to you:

  • Change email password routinely
  • Use strong passwords

Helpful password guidelines:

  • Change your password at least once every 3 months
  • Password should never be less than 8 characters long
  • Password should contain at least one capital letter, one lower case letter, one number and one symbol.
    Example: $3cUrity
  • If using words, break them up with numbers and symbols
    Example: instead of “Daughter”, use “d@ugH13r”
  • Do not use anything similar to the word, “Password”. Surprisingly, it’s the most frequently used password, therefore spammers try every variation of that word first.

If My Email Address Gets Spoofed, What Can I Do?

If your email address is spoofed, we suggest changing the password more often, such as every 2 to 3 days for the next few weeks. This usually frustrates the spammer sufficiently so they go after some other email address. In our experience, we find that alternating your email’s password can be an effective solution. It basically requires you to change your password in WebMail, Outlook and possibly your phone.

There is another option – but it also happens to be the least desirable – and that is to delete your email account and create a new one with a similar address. This is not practical for most of our customers, because their business emails are associated with websites, logins, clients and more. Changing your password every few days might seem like a burden, but it’s usually only necessary for a few weeks and definitely beats breaking in a brand new email address. During this phase, we would also highly recommend that you do not switch back and forth between two previous passwords – use a unique, different password each time.

How to Change You Email Password

  • WebMail
  • Outlook
  • Mobile Devices
    Because password changes are located in different places for different models, please contact your provider for assistance.

Additional Resources