How To Identify and Avoid Spam Email

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spam-emailsJust about every computer user who uses email has received some type of spam email in their past but usually at one time failed to identify or avoid it.

Spam is a type of email that computer users consider to be junk email that usually contains unsolicited information and/or advertisements. Some spam may be harmful to a computer due to a malicious attachment or link included in the email. Spammers are known to send out spam messages in bulk to several different recipients all at once. Many spam filters are able to catch these messages and either delete them or send them to a spam queue depending on the settings that the user specifies.

In identifying spam messages, computer users are now accustomed to looking for those messages that solicit items such as Viagra pills, pharmaceutical drugs and even emails that claim they have won something. Because about 78% of emails sent are considered to be spam, it can be difficult to tell what a legitimate email is and what a spam message is. Sometimes, to identify other types of spam messages, you must run through a checklist.

An email message is probably spam if it meets the circumstances below.

  • The email sender keeps asking for personal information from you.
  • The email is from someone you do not know.
  • The email asks for banking account information or online passwords.
  • The email asks you to send money to a person, account or organization.
  • The email includes a .zip attachment with executable files.
  • The email offers to send copies of certified documents to prove a claim.
  • The email asks you TO verify your name, address or other personal data that should otherwise already be on file.

Spam can be avoided if you practice the following actions:

  • Never download suspicious attachments included in an email MESSAGE from someone you do not know.
  • Always preview email messages before opening them up completely.
  • Use anti-virus, anti-spyware and spam prevention software at all times while keeping the applications up to date.
  • Never forward chain emails or trust them.
  • Never reveal personal information on an email reply to someone you do not know.
  • Try to view messages in ‘plain text’ instead of HTML.

What do you practice on your computer to avoid spam email messages?

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