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Email Safety Tips

Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind when using email. Emails are a major way that scammers and hackers get information or gain access to your data. They use various methods which include phishing, virus and spam emails.

phishing – the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Recognize phishing to improve your email safety.

  • The email usually tells you there has been a compromise to your account and that you need to respond immediately by clicking on a provided link. 
  • Checking the email source and the link that you’re being directed to can give you clues as to whether the source is suspicious.
  • Beware an email that appears to have come from you. 

Email Viruses – is malicious software or a program that attaches itself to an email to infiltrate and infect your computer. Email viruses almost always are linked to malware or phishing attacks. As soon as the receiver interacts with an infected email by downloading a file, accessing a link, or opening an attachment, the virus immediately spreads and infects. Recognize the signs of possibly virus-infected emails to improve your email safety.

Spam email – is unsolicited and unwanted junk email sent out in bulk to a recipient list. Mostly, spam is sent for commercial purposes. It can be sent in massive volume by botnets, networks of infected computers. Spam email can be dangerous. It can include malicious links that can infect your computer with malware. Do not click links in spam. Dangerous spam emails often sound urgent, so you feel the need to act. Keep reading to learn about some of the basic spam types. Recognize malicious spam emails to improve your email safety.

Common types of spam email: #

  • Commercial advertisements
  • Antivirus warnings
  • Email spoofing
  • Sweepstakes winners
  • Money scams

Email Safety Best Practices: #

  • Change your password regul;arly.
  • Use strong passwords. Never use a password that contains “password” or “letmein”. Avoid using your name or any odvious or well-known words or phrases that connect you to the password.
  • Use a different password for each of your accounts. If you use the same password for your bank account as you do for your email account, you become much more vulnerable.
  • Don’t open an attachment unless you know who it is from & are expecting it.
  • Be cautious about email messages that instruct you to enable macros before downloading Word or Excel attachments.
  • Use anti-virus software on your local machine.
  • If you receive an attachment from someone you don’t know, don’t open it. Delete it immediately.
  • Learn how to recognize phishing
    – Messages that contain threats to shut your account down
    – Requests for personal information such as passwords or Social Security numbers
    – Words like “Urgent” – false sense of urgency
    – Forged email addresses
    – Poor writing or bad grammar
  • Hover your mouse over links before you click on them to see if the URL looks legitimate.
  • Instead of clicking on links, open a new browser and manually type in the address.
  • Don’t give your email address to sites you don’t trust.
  • Don’t post your email address to public websites or forums. Spammers often scan these sites for email addresses.
  • Don’t click the “Unsubscribe” link in a spam email. It would only let the spammer know your address is legitimate, which could lead to you receiving more spam.
  • Understand that reputable businesses will never ask for personal information via email.
  • Don’t send personal information in an email message.
  • Don’t reply to spam.
  • Don’t share passwords.
  • Be sure to log out.

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