Have you ever gotten an email claiming that you are to come into some money? Have you been told you were sending an email to your friends with a link that went to a pharmaceutical company? Email spam, also known as junk email, is a subset of electronic spam involving nearly identical messages sent to numerous recipients by email. Clicking on links in spam email may send users to phishing websites or sites that are hosting malware. Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords and credit cards (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Malware, short for malicious software, is used or programmed by attackers to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. Malware includes, computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, key loggers, spyware and other malicious programs.
It Only Takes Seconds…
It only takes seconds for phishers to take everything. Here are some tips to keep your identity safe:
- Easiest thing to do when you get an email spam is to delete it. Don’t answer it!
- Double Check what you post online and make sure you want it to be permanent.
- Educate yourself about internet and computer privacy options.
- Be cautious when publishing personal information on social media sites.
- Any can be legitimate. Do your research before proceeding with any of your transactions.
- Make your password easy for yourself to remember, but difficult for others to figure out.
- If someone tells you the emails are coming from you and they aren’t, change your password immediately.
- Perform a full scan with your updated anti-virus software. If it detects infected files, follow the steps it recommends.
Spammers collect email addresses from chatrooms, websites, customer lists, newsgroups, and viruses which harvest users’ address books and sold to other spammers. While we can’t always get rid of spammers we don’t have to give into them too.