It seems everyone’s email are getting hacked lately. In addition to the first obvious spam message, I’ve received several please disregard follow-up messages. Most of which are some version of this:
“Please disregard any messages you’ve received from me in the last 24 hours. It appears my account was hacked and I have worked to resolve the issue.
I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion these messages may have caused.
While you should first change your password, should the second step really be sending another message to your friends, family and clients stating, “opps! I hope you haven’t clicked on my last message!”? It depends on what kind of spam you sent.
If the spammer asked for money or indicated you or a loved one is in trouble or might be harmed, obviously contact your friends and family via phone, text or an alternative route. However, if the spam is just run of the mill online pharmacy, then sending a mass email can wait.
In that case, the second step, according to this Reuters article should be to contact your financial adviser, check your bank and take care of other financial concerns. “…while you’re alerting your friends, the hacker might be emailing your brokers in your name and imploring them to wire your assets to a bank account in Malaysia,” the article states. “And if they do, no government or securities industry agency is obligated to reimburse your losses.”
After that, you might want to be reminded that there are good people in the world. At this point, step three is a good time to thank your friends who alerted you to the problem. A simple, thank you email should suffice. Just don’t send a mass email with everyone in the to line. If you must send a mass email, at least use bcc!
Fourth, if you have the option to check your recent log in list, do so. While you’re at it, check your signature line and your Away messages. Change your security questions. Double check and make sure your account isn’t being forwarded somewhere else.
Once you’ve done steps one through four, then it’s time to send a message to your entire address book. You might even use this as a time to say hello to old friends. At least then you’ll know who’s really reading your email!
Do you find the please disregard messages over the top?