Suzanne uses Hotmail and all of a sudden, she's getting hundreds of spam from subscribed newsletters. She also got an email about an order for a GoPro camera bought at Walmart. Leo suspects that someone doesn't like Suzanne or has stolen her identity. It's a new scam where hackers overwhelm your email address with bulk emails to distract you from the actual identity theft going on. It's called "Chaff." The idea is to be so overwhelmed with spam and bulk emails, you miss the stolen credit card activity. Shame on companies that allow signups without a double opt-in via email.
Jim got an email from Google that stated he had put in a request to terminate his account, which is something he never asked for. Leo suspects this is a phishing attempt. He should hover over the URL for the link they offer to contact them and see if it's legit. Chances are, it isn't.
According to the creator of HaveIBeenPwned.com, over 21 million passwords have been hacked and revealed on the dark web. Leo says to find out if your passwords have been hacked and stolen, head over to https://haveibeenpwned.com/passwords and input your passwords. It'll let you know if your passwords have been hacked.
Manny wants to know if there's an advantage to having a paid email service vs. a free service like Gmail. Leo says that if he's not paying for it, they're making money off him somehow. That's what pays the bills. He can pay for Google's business email service, called GSuite. That would give him support. Free email is paid for by ads put on the page, and it mines data from email electronically, to focus those ads to what he spends the most time on.
Mike is having issues with Gmail, it says he doesn't have an account, but he does. Leo says that one thing to try is logging into his account with a different computer, or log into a different Google service, like Google Dashboard. If that works, then his account is active and alive. He can also have a friend send him an email, and if it bounces back to them, then his account has somehow been deactivated.
Terry got a new Mac for an early Christmas present and is waiting awhile to reinstall stuff. Leo says that's a good idea. It's much better to only install new programs as needed. Every program he installs is a potential security risk, so he should install as little as possible.
Kathy is blind and Comcast changed her email settings. She had a friend come over and reconfigure it for her, but there's still errors happening. Leo says that Comcast isn't really supporting POP3 access anymore. They allow it, but they prefer she'd use IMAP. So if her friend set it for POP3, have him come back over and change it to IMAP. One way to check is to use her browser. She can also verify if her email is there. If it is, then she'll know it's IMAP. If they aren't, it's POP.
Karen wants to know what free email service she should use. She has Yahoo and she keeps getting triplicate newsletters. Leo recommends Google Mail (Gmail). They don't read mail for ads, nor do they charge. Gmail is a much better solution. She could also configure Gmail to get her Yahoo Mail if she chooses.
Ron is having issues with Thunderbird after a recent security change that is causing him issues. Leo says that Thunderbird has largely been abandoned by developers, who are simply not keeping it up. He may want to check his IMAP and SMTP addresses to make sure they are configured correctly. He should double check how to properly log into it, and what port he'll need to use. His ISP can help him with that.