I'm using Windows 7 and Windows Live Mail. Yesterday some spam email was sent from my computer to all of my contacts! How do I stop this? Is there any way to do a security prompt before email send from my computer? By the way, I'm using Kaspersky internet security.
migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 11 '11 at 14:36
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Most spam messages claiming to be from you aren't actually sent by abusing your account. Sender address forgery is very simple to do if one knows how, unfortunately.
With identity theft scams of any type, once the forger has your information it's very difficult to do much until they're either caught [by authorities], or their resources are cut off, or they choose to move on to forging someone else's identity.
As for the causes of eMail identity forgery, two possibilities come to mind:
Note that if you change your eMail address, for the cost of this inconvenience you'll likely only get a temporary break from this as the spammer will almost certainly eventually discover your new eMail address. Often, they move on to forging someone else's address anyway because they assume that whoever's address they're forging will end up getting labelled as "junk" by many recipients (so they tend not to keep forging a single address for too long).
Options for taking pro-active action against spam
One thing you can certainly do is contribute to anti-spam blacklists such as SpamCop by reporting the spam you receive (you don't have to report all of it either -- you can just report a select subset of the spam you receive as your time permits, and you'll still be making a useful contribution to the war against spam), and then the ISPs who have the power to stop it will receive automated reports from SpamCop that also [optionally] protect your identity:
SpamCop (free, with options for donations)
Your ISP may be able to institute the use of a few conservative blacklists to block a large portion of spam from entering their eMail systems. Many ISPs already do this with great success using only conservative databases for blocking (e.g., open relays, SpamCop's blacklist, systems that send viruses, plus a few others). Some ISPs also optionally use the more aggressive/extreme blacklists for tagging (not blocking) so that users can apply filters at their discretion. Here's a list of some of the more well-known blacklists (a.k.a., DNSBLs) which also includes an online IP-address/domain-name blacklist lookup tool:
Resources - Blacklists
Another great server-side tool is SpamAssassin, but it does incur a short delay with mail reception due to the extensive number of tests it performs against each eMail message it processes (this delay can become more noticeable during peak times on very busy eMail systems, but I think it's a worthwhile sacrifice because mail still gets delivered reasonably quickly in the end). It is a very popular system that works very well, and is worth looking into if you're running your own eMail servers:
Spam Assassin (free, and open source)