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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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We own an Imac. And I dont know if you are the right people

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We own an Imac. And I don't know if you are the right people to ask this type of question. But I've got to start somewhere.
Just recently people are getting emails from our AOL account that we never sent. Someone apparently has gotten access to our directory. The emails contain attachments that open to a drug supplier (sex aids) in Canada. Many of these emails were returned as they were stopped by the recipients firewall. Where do I begin to eradicate this bug?
My thanks,
Carl Capuano [email protected]
Hello Carl, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.

This is a quite common question that we get a lot.
When contact lists/email addresses are kept on email provider websites you have no control over them.
Either your password XXXXX tricked out of you, someone looked over your shoulder or a virus on AOL snatched it.
Doesn't much matter, the damage is done.

AOL, Gmail, HotMail etc. are all subject to this, it can happen because of an infection that the provider contracts that traps passwords when logging in or corrupts their software.
The bad guys already have your list, changing the password XXXXX keeps them out from more damage but it is like closing the barn door after the house gets out.

The best answer here is to move your email addresses/list of contacts to your Mac and use the AddressBook application, then also use the Mac Mail application for email.
It interfaces well with AOL so you do not have to change email providers and your email addresses/contacts are now no longer subject to attacks and compromise to online bad guys.

For example, I have AOL, Gmail. Yahoo and Time Warner email accounts, none of them have any of my email contact addresses on their servers and so are behind a firewall that is built-in to the Mac.
What that means is my contact list/AddressBook is safe against this type of problem.

I am, of course, assuming that you do your email online at AOL either with the AOL desktop or through your bowser.
What version of OS X do you have?
Let me know.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi again (Brother) Dan,
I responded to your note yesterday, but apparently didn't send it correctly because I've heard nothing in return. (I sent it to So I'm trying again.
My computer is an Mac OS X, version 10.4.11.
My wife uses Safari, and I use Firefox and Mail. So we had multiple addresses in both systems.
I deleted all the AOL addresses in Firefox, (and consequently Safari) and changed the password XXXXX each.
Am I on the right track? Is there anything else i need to do to prevent scroundels fro using my name?
Loved your sign off. Christ is my Lord as well.
Carl Capuano
We're [email protected]
When you say you use Safari and Firefox do you mean that you access AOL email through those browsers?
I am asking if you have the Mail app on the Mac setup to access AOL mail and more importantly where is your contact list kept? Online at AOL or on your Mac in AddressBook?
Please reply to this thread, the askdaniel is more for returning customers with new questions to reach me directly. I have been away visiting my elderly in-laws and so have not been real attentive monitoring here today.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Dan,
Thanks for responding.
We keep an (practically) identical list in both places. My wife uses the Safari AOL list mostly. I use the Mac addressbook. Like I said, I deleted all AOL addresses associated with Safari. My understanding (from you) is the culprits cannot have access to my addresses in the Mac addressbook. Am I right? Did I do good?
Thanks for your help.
Yes Carl, we had the same happen to us years ago when AOL was still young. At that time we discontinued any contact lists online.
I do suggest your wife do the same, her email address won't change nor will her connect list, it is just changing locations to a much safer place.
Sign in to AOL, click on contacts, then tools and select Export. Chose CVS and save to her desktop. Then open Address book and select Import from the File drop down menu.
After doing that delete all contacts that are stored on AOL, you no longer need them there.

Use the Mail setup assistant to setup AOL mail in Mac Mail, it will use the same email address and password.
This will keep her contacts safe, and she can still login to AOL to do mail if she wishes, that won't change.
Keeping your contacts on your Mac means bad guys can't get to them even if your password XXXXX XXXXX
Does that make sense?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Makes perfect sense.
It's Done, and much easier than this illiterate would have guessed.
Thanks so much.
You are welcome, if I can be of more service please ask.
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