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Can I be hacked through simple emails?


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#1 tristenkw5

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:32 AM

After doing a little digging, I've found people say that sending emails through web services such as yahoo or gmail generally is safe as far as keeping your personal info (IP address specifically) from being found by those you send them to. But twice now my computer has been compromised and it's files have been accessible to hackers, after nothing but email exchange.

I keep my computer and anti-virus/firewalls up to date, and work at an IT department so while I don't know everything, I'm experienced with computers.

I'm trying internet dating, but the problem is email contact is required a lot of the time, and both times I was hacked it was someone posing as a girl on a site (or they may have hacked the account of a girl on the site, either way). I will admit attachments were sent and received both times, but they were only picture files (.jpg, or .bmp), and even then I never opened any of them with a double click (most of the time I only looked at previews) so I wouldn't execute anything hidden. However, after the first time I was hacked I grew more cautious and checked attachments through my phone first, but still I was hacked a second time, months later.

Is it the attachments I'm being hacked through, or can it simply by only a message? Is there anyway to safely use email for internet dating, or should I avoid it altogether? Does checking with my phone even help?

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 05:53 AM

Please have a read here: http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000573.htm

Many times simple looking attachments like .jpg or .png can contain a .exe at the end of it. If you do not have view file extensions checked you will not see the extra one and execute malware.

#3 tristenkw5

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 02:00 PM

Thanks, but I already keep that option on permanently, and like I said, I don't execute any of the photos in order to avoid running anything I shouldn't.

Now, will simply saving unsafe files to my computer make it hackable, or do I have to run the bad files for hackers to get access?

#4 cryptodan

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 04:33 PM

You would have execute the files, but with some malware they can be executed via embedded scripts.

#5 pcsavior

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 09:32 PM

@ tristenkw5 ... I'm curious what browser are you using ?




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