Pat from Ohio writes:

I believe my Yahoo addy was hacked by Heartbleed because I see mail with my email address in my Spam folder that I never sent. Is there a way to stop this? I’d rather not delete my account (is this even possible?) because it is tied to too many sites. I have blocked the sender’s addresses but some still get through and that isn’t stopping these from getting sent. It just keeps me from seeing them unless I look in the Spam folder. I changed my password several times but I think I got hacked before I was aware of Heartbleed and changed it. The last time I checked there were 18 different spam sites using my Yahoo addy. Can I report this somewhere and will that help stop it?

Pat, just because these Spam sites are using your address, doesn’t mean that your e-mail account has been hacked.  If the e-mails were sent from your account, they would not be in the Spam folder, but in the Sent Folder. (assuming you have the option to save sent e-mail checked) The Spam folder holds messages that were sent TO your account, but filtered out by Yahoo as junk mail.

More likely, you’ve got friends who aren’t too careful about what sites they click on or e-mails they open and spammers have access to their contact lists and have co-opted the addresses for their own use. Say a friend sent out an e-mail to multiple people with your addresses included among the recipients. One of the other people who received the e-mail could have malware on his or her computer that used every address listed in that e-mail as a return address for spam.

You could report the messages as spam, but Yahoo already knows that these messages are spam, that’s why they are filtering them out and dumping them into your spam folder.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to completely stop spammers from using your address. Check your Sent folder. If you don’t see those messages as having come fro your account, they aren’t coming from your account, even if someone tries to stick your address on them. 

Still, make sure you have up-to-date virus and malware protection on your computer and you can always change your e-mail password just to be safe.

To turn on the option to save sent e-mail, click the gear symbol in your inbox and choose Settings.

Then choose Writing email and check Save A copy of the message in the Sent folder and then Save. This will allow you to make sure these messages aren’t coming from your account.

~ Cynthia