Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

If you clicked on a link in a spam email, you should immediately do a thorough scan of your computer. Unless you are not running a Windows machine.

Thanks for your incredibly helpful info on hacked email. I followed your advice; changed my password and security questions and warned all of my contacts. You wrote not to click on any links in spam email but I didn't know that the email from my cousin was spam and the link was disguised as an MSNBC article so unfortunately, I clicked on the link. What should I do to find out if I have malware like a key logger on my computer? Things seem ok so far; no weird pop-ups or anything but I'm concerned. The hack occurred with my paid email service through AT&T. I'm running Mac OSX 10.6.8.

In this excerpt from Answercast #91, I look at steps to take if you inadvertently click on a link in a spam email.

Clicked on a link in spam

Well, the good news here is that most malware is actually not targeted at the Macintosh.

There is malware out there, there's just not a lot of it. You're probably safe simply by virtue of having a Macintosh and having this happen on your Mac.

If you were on a PC, I would immediately say:

  • Start running your anti-malware software.

  • Run up-to-date scans of the entire machine.

  • Use both your anti-virus and your anti-spyware tools;

  • And consider running the tool from malwarebytes.org.

But those are all Windows answers. For Macintosh, like I said, this type of malware, the one that uses this kind of misdirected link, is in fact very rarely targeted at your Macintosh and you're probably just fine.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Next from Answercast 91- How do I defrag my external drive?

Article C6281 - January 27, 2013 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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