The main email threats are scams, which reply on sending ‘spam’ emails to thousands of email addresses on the premise that a small percentage of recipients will respond to the email and fall for the scam.
The other week I was on EBay, you assume that EBay is a trusted and secured website, well think again. It advised that they were celebrating an anniversary and enter to draw to win an iPhone, the fact that it sent you on the actual APPLE website, you thought it would be all secure. After entering in my mobile number, I received over 4 messages from the same number, I decided to reply STOP. A couple of weeks later my phone bill arrived, which I nearly had a heart attack over. I didn’t think anything of the competition I entered, so I decided to query it with my phone provider.
After a long conversation of how this issue arise is when looking at my text log, there were 6 texts received from an unknown provider. The Telemarked advised it is due to entering a competition, or some sort of “in it to win it” prize.
They had charged $15.00 each text to be sent to your phone, when replying it was another $5.00 – Lucky I only replied once saying “STOP”. In conclusion to this modern email systems and websites have reasonably effective spam filters to prevent spam appearing in your inbox/ sites.
Spam emails should be deleted without opening them, but be aware that spam filters often provide ‘false positives’, meaning some legitimate emails may end up with the spam in the junk mail folder. You should check the email senders and subject lines before deleting spam to make sure you don’t accidentally delete legitimate messages.
Be wary of messages which, even though they may appear to come from a legitimate source (for example your bank or a friend), may be fraudulent or harmful and should be deleted.
Scams are becoming more sophisticated and difficult to identify so vigilance is your best defence.
Manage and Reduce Spam
Spam can clog up your email inbox, use up your monthly download allowance and hide viruses that infect your computer. Most spam advertises fraudulent, offensive or poor quality goods, or is trying to con you using get-rich-quick offers, fake prize or lottery wins or imitation requests from what appear to be real businesses in order to steal your banking or personal details.
Don’t give your email address out without really needing to.
When you sign up for an online account or service be aware of default options to receive additional email about other products and services.
Use privacy settings on social networking sites
Social networking sites typically allow you to choose who has access to see your personal details. Consider hiding your email account or changing the settings so that only people that you trust are able to see your details.
Use spam filters
Activate any spam filtering function provided by the email program you use or that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) offers.
Check their website, or install a separate spam filter.
You will find spam filters through your preferred search engine, or your ISP may list effective spam filters on its website.
Dealing with the spam you receive
Always delete spam without opening it. This means never replying to spam, including clicking on any unsubscribe links in emails that you don’t recall subscribing to.
Don’t reply to or forward long chain letters that you receive by email.
Don’t open attachments in any messages if the source of the message is unknown or is suspicious.
Add the spam address to ‘junk senders’. Most email programs have the ability to add them to a ‘junk senders’ list which blocks them next time they try send email to you.
What is ‘malware’?
Malware (short for ‘malicious software’) is the term used to refer to any type of malicious code or program that is used for monitoring and collecting your personal information (spyware) or disrupting or damaging your computer (viruses and worms).
Malware Type What it does
Spyware Collects personal information or interferes with control of your computer, such as installing additional software or redirecting your web browser.
Keyloggers Logs every keystroke you make and then sends that information, including passwords, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers, to scammers for fraudulent use.
Trojans Damages your operating system and may install a ‘backdoor’ through which to send your personal information to another computer for fraudulent purposes.
Viruses and worms Self-replicate and hijack your operating system. They can be used to send out spam or perform other malicious activities and you may not even know it. They can cause your computer to freeze or crash and will use shared files and email address books to spread viruses to other computers from yours.
Never rely on only one online review, there is often no way of knowing if they are legitimate. Read several reviews and compare their results before making your decision.
In conclusion prevent spyware from getting onto your computer
Develop good security practices. You need to have internet security measures in place and have a good understanding of how your computer works.
To check if your computer is infected with a virus, run a full scan using your anti-virus software and follow the instructions to remove it. You should run your anti-virus software at least once a week.