Start Page / Mail clients / My email is sending spam – how to stop sending spam in four quick steps
Per Strand published this guide
11 October 2011
Microsoft® Translator
21037 - 0

If you suspect that your computer is infected with a virus forcing your computer and email to send spam, just follow the 4 steps below to make it stop.

how to stop sending spam

Step 1) Shut down your Internet connection
The first thing you should always do if you suspect that your computer has been infected by a virus is make sure that all network connections are shut down. This prevents the infection being passed on to other computers in or outside your network. If you have no antivirus software, you should download some free antivirus software before shutting down your Internet connection. If you have antivirus software installed, shut down your Internet connection immediately. You might need to update your software with the latest virus definitions before you shut down your Internet connection.

Step 2) Start your antivirus software
Then you should start your antivirus software immediately, if you have any installed. Start it, then allow it to scan your entire computer for viruses. If you don't have any antivirus software, you have to choose whether to hook up quickly to the Internet and download some free antivirus software. The disadvantage here is that there's a risk of you passing on your virus as soon as your computer is back online. Allow your antivirus software to delete or quarantine any viruses it finds. When you think you've managed to delete the virus or viruses, restart your computer and run your antivirus software again. Allow your antivirus software to identify viruses again and delete any it finds. Repeat this until all viruses have been deleted.


Step 3) Change the password of your mail account
If your mail account has been hijacked, you'll need to change your passwords to prevent unauthorised access. Remember: never choose a password that's too simple. Virus bots work 24 hours a day, testing different password combinations in order to access computers and accounts in order to spread viruses from your computer. A good password should include at least eight characters, both UPPER and lower case, letters and numbers, as well as some odd characters such as *;?#%&, which are hard to guess. If you follow this tip to ensure you use strong passwords, no bot will be able to crack your passwords.

Step 4) Download some good free antivirus software
Get yourself some new free antivirus software which is good. Your old software doesn't seem to have done its job, and there are a number of really good free antivirus packages which you can use. The default settings are usually good, but make sure your settings are correct and that the software is launched when you start your computer. Antivirus software which hasn't been launched is no use at all. You should be able to see an icon in the Taskbar which indicates that your antivirus software is running and doing what it should. There's an abundance of perfectly good free programs for you to choose from: AVG, Avast, Panda and Avira are just a few of them. Here's a list of the best free antivirus packages in 2011, published by Techmixer. http://www.techmixer.com/best-free-anti-virus-software/

When you've followed these four steps, you should be able to connect back up to the Internet without risking infecting other computers.

More about this spam problem:

In a worst case scenario, you might already have contracted a virus which is forcing your computer and email to send spam. You might even have ended up the victim of what's known as a spoofing attack. Spoofing means faking the sender address on an outgoing email in order to hide who's really sent it. Another reason as to why your email is sending spam might be that your mail account has been hijacked. This is actually pretty common in Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. When a server sends an email message, it specifies the sender; but this sender field can be forged. If there's a problem with delivery and someone forged your address on the message, the message will be returned to you even if you didn't actually send the message in the first place. So if you start receiving spam mail from yourself, it's likely that you've fallen victim to a spoofing attack.

I hope that this guide "My email is sending spam - how to stop sending spam in four quick steps" helped you to solve your spam problem. Please comment and let me know if it worked or if there is some more smart tips to add.

Please read my blogpost In all the world, which countries and organisations send the most spam? and Spam trends for 2011?


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