(Memphis) News Channel 3’s Marybeth Conley was on the set for the Live at Nine show Tuesday morning.
But hundreds of people who got an email from Marybeth’s Yahoo Account may have thought otherwise.
The email indicated she is the United Kingdom, had been mugged at a park, all her cash and credit cards were stolen and she needed urgent financial help.
“I am not in the United Kingdom. I have not been mugged. We started getting calls into the newsroom when we were doing Live at Nine,” said Marybeth.
People started calling to see if Marybeth was OK.
Turns out Marybeth’s email had been hacked.
The email looked real and was sent from her real account.
But it wasn’t from Marybeth.
Someone got in, created the fake email and sent it to all her contacts.
“I have no idea how it happened. I do change my password periodically, but obviously not enough,” says Marybeth.
News Channel 3’s System Engineer, John Brewer, said hacking is a serious problem.
“They are assuming your identity and they can ultimately assume your entire identity by the bits and pieces of information they pull from your account. That includes access to your banking,” says Brewer.
He says the key to protect yourself is to change your password often.
“Having a secure password and not having the same password for years. I say not having the same password for 30 days to a couple of months. Change your password. That’s your security,” says Brewer.
It’s a good idea to use numbers, the @ sign and other special characters like “#” to make your password more difficult to figure out.
If you get a strange email, don’t open it or forward it because you or others could also be hacked.
“Be vigilant to what you receive in your mail box. Just don’t click and open everything. Be cautious,” said Brewer.
If you are hacked, you should change your password immediately.
Contact your internet service provider to make sure they are keeping your information secure and call your email contacts to let them know about the bogus emails going around.