Why Does My Account Keep Sending Out Spam?

Hi, Leo. I changed my password four times on Yahoo yet my account keeps sending out spam. I’ve emailed Yahoo with a spammers address. Where can I report someone who’s stolen my contacts to email people? At least I have the address of just the last one who stole my account. What should I do? People are annoyed because I keep sending out spam – four times in one month. What should I do besides changing passwords and security questions? Even if I change to a non-Yahoo for email don’t these people already have my contacts somehow? Is there a way to delete my contacts? How do I report these people? I feel like Yahoo did nothing with the last ones.

There’s a bucket-load of issues here, and quite frankly an awful lot of confusion.

This can be a very frustrating situation, but what happens next, if anything, depends on what’s really going on.

Read moreWhy Does My Account Keep Sending Out Spam?

Can We No Longer View Websites without Getting Pop-ups?

I’m getting a lot of ads popping up when I’m on a site (I guess they’re called pop-ups). It could be anything – an ad for an insurance company, or some other product disrupting my viewing and often it’s very hard to delete it; it just keeps popping up regardless. Is there any way I can eliminate these interruptions and if I do will it affect my viewing or access to these sites? The reason I ask is this: I can remember a few times I had to allow these pop-ups in order to continue accessing a site. Is it impossible in today’s internet that we can’t view the internet without these interruptions?

The problem here is that pop-ups come from many, many different sources and may be of many different kinds. Some are the very legitimate price you effectively pay for viewing a free website, others not so much.

Read moreCan We No Longer View Websites without Getting Pop-ups?

Do I need more than one browser? Why?

I run Windows 7, Internet Explorer 11 and Firefox 28 on a nearly new LG all-in-one with an I5 processor. I have two issues with Internet Explorer. When accessing a video link from an email, for example, I get sounds but no picture. When booking an online ticket, I can’t complete the process as when pressing “next” I’m returned to the first page. I don’t have either of these problems with Firefox. Any suggestions?

Honestly, I think you’ve answered your own question. If it works in Firefox, use Firefox.

Browsers are complex beasts, and websites can be complex beasts too. When you combine them, things get geometrically more complex. All three of the top browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, are good, solid browsers, as are many others like Safari and Opera.

Read moreDo I need more than one browser? Why?

Who’s responsible for monitoring misleading advertising?

Leo, thanks for your site. Which agency controls or watches the advertisements of all the links that are posted? The big complaint that I have are the sites to clean your PC, which say “Free”, and at the end you have to pay for activation. Should it be a requirement that a big red note says, “This is not a free site”? I fully realize that there’s no free lunch but these lead you on to sites and cause you to waste much time.

The practical answer to this specific question that you asked is there’s not really such an agency.

Yes, in the United States you might think of your state’s Attorney General, but practically speaking they’re rarely going to step in and help unless it’s something really, really serious and widespread.

Besides, most of these ads have some very slippery wording that actually keeps them out of trouble.

Read moreWho’s responsible for monitoring misleading advertising?

Can spyware see what you did before the spyware was installed?

If spyware is installed by malicious websites, or maybe even the government, is that spyware able to track internet information which had existed before the spyware was installed?

Ultimately, it really depends on exactly what you mean by “internet information”.

It’s important to realize that malware can do anything it wants to on your computer and can access anything that is stored on it.

That, in and of itself, exposes some historical information; but it might also be a foot in the door for more.

Read moreCan spyware see what you did before the spyware was installed?

I got two identical spam messages from two friends. Which of us has been hacked?

Leo, I’ve received two emails from two different friends, both of which have the same link in them. Hotmail threw both of them into junk mail area so I was suspicious and didn’t click on the link and deleted them. But I was wondering, have they been hacked? Or have I? Should I warn them or start looking into my own vulnerability?

Without looking at the actual message source (meaning the headers that you don’t normally look at) it’s nearly impossible to say. It could be you, but ultimately, I don’t think it’s likely. It could be them. Or, believe it or not, it could be nothing at all.

Read moreI got two identical spam messages from two friends. Which of us has been hacked?