Online Sense is ICDL Arabia's philanthropic arm aimed at raising public awareness on Cyber Safety.

Have you heard about Gmail users claiming that they are receiving spam email from their own accounts? Most of these spam emails promote stuff such as insurance, weight loss supplements and dating sites.

Sounds bizarre but it is true! How could something like this happen despite Gmail having advanced security measures such as two-factor authentication?

Without bothering you with technical details of how this happened, let’s break the most important news first. In case you received an email that seemed you sent to yourself (because it’s ‘from’ ID was ‘me’) rest assured your account was not hacked.

According to experts, hackers are exploiting a loophole in Gmail’s spam filters to send you such email. Therefore, the threat to your privacy is limited to you receiving a few more such spam emails in your Primary folder. Yes, this can be annoying but is not a real threat such as the hacking of your personal information in your inbox or computer.

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This might become a real threat in case someone sends a phishing email that looks like it has come from your ID. You might become the victim of a phishing attack if you fall for it and click on a link in such an email. Therefore, it’s advisable to not click on any link that looks like one you sent to yourself.

“We are aware of a spam campaign impacting a small subset of Gmail users and have actively taken measures to protect against it,” a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying.

“We have identified and are reclassifying all offending emails as spam, and have no reason to believe any accounts were compromised as part of this incident,” he added.

“My email account has sent out 3 spam emails in the past hour to a list of about 10 addresses that I don’t recognise. I changed my password immediately after the first one, but then it happened again two more times,” a user wrote on “Google Help Forum”.

“The company’s engineering teams are aware of this and are working on a resolution,” Google employee Seth Vargo tweeted in reply to one such complaint.