Is my email account hacked?

It can be disconcerting when an email is sent (or received) from your email address, and it wasn't you. It is natural to think that someone has hacked your email account and is sending emails through it. Email accounts can be compromised through a weak password or malware, but most often this is not the case.

How is spam sent with my email address?

Emails can be sent through programming. We do this all the time. For example, if a form is filled out on your website and you receive an email, that email was not sent through an actual email account. It was sent through programming. And when sending an email through programming, we can add any name/email as the "From" field that we want.

Spammers often use email addresses they have found as the "From" address when bulk spamming email through scripts that run on their servers. They likely have no access to your email account itself - they are just "writing in" your email address on their spam emails.

How would I know?

If spammers are using your actual email account to send the emails, outbound traffic from your email account would skyrocket. You wouldn't typically send 1000 emails in an hour, but spammers do. Our systems are monitored for activity like this which indicate spamming behavior, and we take immediate action when we see it.