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Yesterday, I had family and friends over at my house, and I left my computer unlocked, and during the evening, I forgot about it. After some time if my computer is inactive, it goes to sleep. After everyone left, I cleaned up and jumped into bed.

This morning I received a phone call from a former colleague, who I need as a reference asking to explain why I sent an e-mail saying:

I think you're really beautiful.

I'm assuming someone from the party accessed some social media profile with her picture and my email.

Although I'm a lesbian, my colleague knows I don't have an interest in her, and she isn't a lesbian herself.

I told her that I didn't write such an e-mail, but I was panicking so wrapped up the conversation and went to G-mail, only to find that not only did this person send e-mails, he or she shut down my account. Now Google wants me to prove my identity with the usual steps.

I have my contacts saved privately, so I can easily create a new account and add them (which I'm planning to do).

I hate social situations to begin with, because I'm largely introverted so issuing this apology is embarrassing. I was hoping that anyone who received an e-mail would think I was hacked, notify me, and let it go. The e-mail was a private home address, not used for work of any kind.

How do I issue an apology to all my contacts explaining what happened and sorry for the inconvenience it may have caused.

In the interest of trying here is what I came up with:

Hello colleagues:

Yesterday, I had an unfortunate incident where my e-mail address was used to send inappropriate emails.

I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and I’ve taken precautionary measures to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

Thanks, [ insert name here ]

Update:

Hello colleagues:

Yesterday, I had an unfortunate incident where someone had unauthorized access to my e-mail address and used it to send inappropriate emails.

I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and I’ve taken precautionary measures to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

Thanks, [ insert name here ]

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    Welcome to Interpersonal Skills! Please don’t write answers in comments. It bypasses our quality measures by not having voting (both up and down) available on comments, as well as having other problems detailed on meta. Comments are for clarifying and improving the question; please don’t use them for other purposes. – Tinkeringbell Jun 26 '18 at 20:16
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a phrasing request which the community has determined is off topic for this site. – sphennings Jun 26 '18 at 22:31
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I think that your response is professional and appropriate. Look at it this way:

It is true that you did not send that email. You are being sincere and truthful about it. If someone chooses to believe that you are lying, there is not much you can do. Simply be honest, and calmly explain the truth (as you did in your draft).

Sometimes however, tone can be lost in an email. I do not know how close you are to your email contacts in real life, but depending on the person, you may (or may not) want to give them a call and explain what happened. This may be hard to do it you are introverted, but it may be well worth it if you feel that the person would understand you better that way.

I recommend doing activities that you enjoy to distract you from this unfortunate mishap if it gives you anxiety. It has helped me in the past. :) Drink some coffee, read a book, or create something.

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    I recommend doing activities that you enjoy to distract you from this unfortunate mishap if it gives you anxiety. It has helped me in the past. :) Drink some coffee, read a book, or create something - Great advice, I've done this before, so I know it works. An e-mail is sufficient, my colleague is friendly and kind and not one to take things too seriously. – user19232 Jun 26 '18 at 16:47
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Your planned email is fine, but I would make two small changes to it:

Hello colleagues:

Yesterday my e-mail account was hacked and used to send inappropriate emails. I've been through the reset process and recovered control of my account and changed all my passwords.

I sincerely apologize if you received an inappropriate email or for any inconvenience this may have caused, and I’ve taken precautionary measures to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

Please disregard any emails from this account sent between [date/time] and [date/time]

Thanks, [ insert name here ]

By saying "hacked" you make it clear that you were not in control of your account and didn't give anyone access to it using a very clear and recognizable phrase.

By offering a specific time-frame they know which emails were while you were not in control of the account. If you were not able to take back control of the account then change this to say that it has been hacked and that you have not been able to get back in - and to please disregard all messages from that account since [date/time].

As to this specific colleague, they may or may not believe you but so long as something like this has not happened before and does not happen again there is no reason it won't blow over. Unfortunately the ball is completely in her court there, all you can do is tell her what happened and then give her space.