6 Simple Email Safety Rules to Live By
If you have an email account, you can expect to receive spam at one point or another.
Email fraud is an effective way for cybercriminals to trick users into providing confidential information or opening a malicious file attachment. All they have to do is craft a message that appears to come from a legitimate company and create a sense of urgency to entice the user to complete the desired action.
The one good thing about email/spam attacks is that they all require user-interaction, so they’re relatively easy to avoid.
Following these six email security rules will keep you safe from almost any spam / phishing attack.
Email Safety Tips
- Don’t click on embedded links! It’s safer to manually type in the web address into your browser’s address bar instead of following embedded hyperlinks. If you absolutely cannot resist clicking embedded hyperlinks, at least put forth the effort to check the destination URL first. To check the destination URL, simply hover over the link until the web address is shown.
- Do not download or open files attached to unsolicited emails. This especially rings true if you’re not expecting the attachment and you don’t know who sent it. Bad guys often attach Trojans to spam messages in hopes that the recipient will open it and infect their PC. In the event that someone you know sends a file attachment, be sure to scan it with your antivirus before opening it.
- Do not reply or provide any personal information. Responding to the email can confirm that it’s a valid email address, and providing personal information can make you vulnerable to additional attacks or identity theft if the right information is provided. Additionally, never click the unsubscription link in a suspected spam message – it will let the spammer know that the email address is active.
- Use a spam filter. A lot of antivirus solutions include some type of Spam-filtering feature, so if you have it, use it. A spam filter will keep most of the junk emails out of your inbox and flag any that are suspicious, lessening the chance of you falling for a spam campaign.
- Always remember to sign out, especially if you use a public computer. Obviously this will keep random strangers from rummaging through your inbox. Make sure you use strong passwords and change them on a regular basis.
- Be cautious where you share your email address. Don’t just hand your email out to anyone or any website asking for it. Also, try not to post your email address on any public forums, message boards or any other public-facing website. Spambots crawl the web searching for publicly available email addresses to add to their (spam) mailing list.
Share Your Email Safety Tips!
Have any other email safety & security tips? Feel free to share them below!