Actually, if I send you an email, I probably won’t see what you mean because I don’t think the problem is at your end – or even a problem that you specifically can control.
You might be in a bit of a pickle.
There a number of things I gleaned from your question. Most of them are bad news. A possible glimmer of hope: you said you have your important stuff on external drives that you back up regularly. If you meant that you’ve been doing full system image backups, you’ll probably be fine.
Leo, on the topic of “Can my boss see my mail and instant messages” you wrote, “if using your company’s machine, it’s safe to assume that your boss or IT department could see your emails and instant messages.”
Yes, but there may be an additional cautionary note in my opinion. My son and daughter-in-law are both faculty members at a major university. They have their own privately owned computer at home. However, at home, they use their university faculty email addresses to send and receive email. So, isn’t it true that it’s not who owns the machine but the use of the university’s email system on campus or at home, that opens the door to this kind of access vulnerability?
Actually, it’s both. Or rather, it’s either. And more.
Let me explain what I mean.
The scenario you described is now very, very common. In fact, none of the three Macs in this household have optical drives, and neither does my Microsoft Surface Pro running Windows 8.
But it’s not really a problem. I’ll explain why and what I do.
I have a Gmail account that I’ve never used. Because my phone is now a Samsung 3 and interfaces with Gmail, I’m thinking of dropping my Yahoo account. The problem is that when I go into my Gmail account, I find mail from Amazon to a lady in Florida with the same first name as me.
I don’t understand what’s happened. Why, when I enter my name and password, I see emails to her about stuff she’s ordered on Amazon. Her name and address are there as well. When I look in All Mail, I see about 1300 emails, which I plan to delete and start up with Gmail because it’s the browser for my Samsung Galaxy. I don’t know who to ask about these emails from Amazon to this other woman in Florida regarding her purchases. And again, I’ve signed into my Gmail account with my name and password. So, now, I’m afraid to start up a Gmail account and drop off my old email address. Thanks, Leo for any light that you can shed on this problem.
I’ve got a pretty good guess as to what’s going on. I also have some ideas and some advice for what you might want to do about it.
There are a few things you can try. I’ll list those, as well as one technique that will let you avoid this problem completely in the future.