A message in your inbox which includes one of your previously-used passwords may make your heart jump, right? Trust me, it did mine.

"I am aware, password ********* is your password. You do not know me and you're most likely thinking why are you getting this email, right?"

It's a bit daunting, especially if the sender has gotten the password exactly right. He did mine.

The email goes on to say that the password has been lifted from an adult website using a keylogger.

"In fact, I placed a malware on the adult videos (pornographic material) web site and do you know what, you visited this site to have fun (you know what I mean)."

This is where I grew a little suspicious.

A little digging revealed that this type of email is one of the latest scams making its way around the internet, and it's designed to scare people into sending a payment via Bitcoin.

"Well, I believe, $1900 is a fair price for our little secret. You'll make the payment by Bitcoin."

The sender then threatens to send a video of the pornographic material which has supposedly been viewed and a recording from your computer's webcam.

I've got news for ya, son. I'm not paying and I don't frequent adult websites.

It's yet another email scam designed to separate you from your money and it's called 'Sextortion.'

How did they get your password? The perpetrators have mined data from recent database breaches. (Macy’s, Delta, Best Buy, Panera, MyHeritage, Ticketmaster, etc.) Your best line of defense is to change passwords frequently, using a computer you know to be secure.

According to Krebs on Security, there are a few steps you can take to avoid becoming a cyber victim:

  • Never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they are — or who they say they are.
  • Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know, and in general be wary of opening attachments even from those you do know.
  • Turn off [and/or cover] any web cameras when you are not using them.

I'm off to change my passwords.