But someone did: apparently for the purpose of sending malware to everybody whom I have ever emailed.
On Wednesday, I got a notice from Google/Gmail to change my password because there had been some suspicious activity. So, I did.
But the people who hacked the account never signed out, so unbeknownst to me, bots were sending emails from my account from places all over the world, such as Malaysia and Scotland, for example.
We finally figured this out when I sent 4 emails to my tech support friend. The emails weren't about the problem because I didn't know that I had a problem at that time. No ... I sent him 4 emails on the same subject because Gmail kept telling me that I couldn't send an email from Trash.
I didn't, therefore, know that he had received any emails, especially all 4, so he called to find out what the heck was going on, and it was he who discovered that bots had taken over my account.
Fortunately, he knew how to kick them out, and I changed my password yet again.
Meanwhile, undelivered emails were still out there, so Google kept trying to send them because that's what a mail server does when it doesn't succeed at first. So, even though my account had been secured, the emails were still going out, and I began to hear back from various concerned contacts.
Meanwhile, I had a second email account with the same weak password, and they hacked that too, but I think we, or rather he, as in my tech support friend, got ahold of the problem too soon for much damage to have been done.
So, how did this happen? I have had that email account for 15 years, maybe 20. I had a weak password all of that time, but I didn't think anyone would bother to hack my email account. I do have many passwords that are strong, but I never bothered to upgrade my email passwords.
Here's the lesson about making passwords if you need it.
- Don't use a simple word; they have programs to crack passwords, and simple word passwords are easy.
- Use a mixture of upper and lower case with some numbers and wild characters.
- Make them longer than 8 characters, Twelve are better.
There may be other good guidelines, but start there.