E-Mail Security

Many times I have found myself questioning an e-mail. Should I open it or not, etc. Can you please give me some more information on e-mail security?

Sure thing, that’s no problem at all!
Everyday thousands of viruses, worms and scams travel through the Internet. They also travel through electronic mail, or of course, as we know it, e-mail. Every e-mail user should know the basics of protecting themselves from a virus or a scam on the Internet. Knowing the basics will decrease your chances of receiving one of these nasty intrusions.

The first rule of e-mail security is to make sure you only open e-mail from recipients that you know very well. If you get an e-mail from a business, corporation or organization, keep in mind that you should only receive an e-mail from a place like that if you had contacted them first. If you did not contact them, then by all means, don’t open the e-mail!

I recently received an e-mail from Microsoft with a subject line of “Use this Patch Immediately!” Microsoft will not contact you about patches or anything else, unless you contact them first. This “patch,” which was attached to the e-mail, could have very well been a virus or a worm.

One of the new techniques of spam senders is pretending to be someone else sending the message. The message I received from Microsoft was not from Microsoft at all, but instead, it was from someone who changed the recipient e-mail to security@microsoft.com, which is not legit.

Also, take note that if you receive an e-mail from a bank requesting your information over the Internet, do not give it to them. There was a Bank of America e-mail scam going around the Internet awhile back. It was one where a link took you to a site that “looked” like Bank of America’s official Web site requesting your information, but it was really someone pretending to be the bank. It is always safer to visit your bank and ask them about the e-mail.

There was also the Nigerian e-mail scam. It involved an e-mail telling you that someone found a large amount of money that “belongs” to you. However, they have to get this money into the United States for you, so they request that you send them money to assist them in their work. Never send money to anyone you don’t know, especially if you receive an e-mail from a suspicious person.

So, there you have it, a little more information on e-mail security and ways to stay protected.

Helpful Links:
Microsoft’s Security Center

Visit this Web site to check if an e-mail is a scam. If the e-mail is not listed here and you still think it’s a scam, then delete it or submit it to this site.

~Jack William

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