Just how could someone hijack your Google AdWords account without you knowing? How can they get your Google account email address and then password in order to change the password to lock you out? It appears that visiting a website with a virus or responding to one of the AdWords phishing emails that has gone out recently may allow bandits to compromise your system and your account.
First and foremost, don’t ever click links you get in emails from Google AdWords or even PayPal. Take any action requested by logging into your account with your browser to assure that you are really going to the site you intend to be visiting.
Second, make sure that you are using Internet Explorer 7 and have the phishing filter enabled. This will let your browser help you to know when a website is pretending to be a site that it is not.
Third, periodically change your passwords and look to use a secure password of a combination of numbers and letters.
Fourth, be careful of the sites you visit and routinely check your computer for malware. It appears that there is a bug out there that is downloaded from a malware site masquerading as a legitimate website and the bug seeks out your AdWords information and mails it to a bot for fraudulent use. It will keep you locked out of Google properties so you cannot access www.Google.com or even AdWords to check on your account.
Don’t think it could happen to you? Well it just happened to one of our previous clients and they got hit in one day for $10,000 of clicks to their American Express. Google is investigating and shut down their account in one day, but the absolute aggravation of communication of the issue, concerns about charges, not being able to get into your account, shutting down their legitimate business account for the period to resolve the issue, and why it would happen to you, is just something you simply do not want to experience.