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Email Phishing

E-mail is great for communication because it allows people to send messages quickly for little or no cost.  However, sometimes e-mail is used to trick and/or harm their computers.  Here are some tips for keeping harmful e-mail in the trash where they belong.

  • Have a strong password.  You don't want just anyone to be able to access your e-mails, so create a strong password that only you will remember.
  • Never open an e-mail from a person you don't know or expect.  These e-mails may contain a virus, malware, or could be advertisements for unwanted things such as pornography.
  • Beware of e-mails asking for personal information such as Social Security Numbers, bank or credit card numbers, usernames & passwords, or any other personal information you don't feel comfortable giving out to strangers.  These are called phishing e-mails.  Often they will come with promises of large sums of money or threats that there are problems with your bank account.  Your bank or credit card company will never contact you by e-mail unless you have signed up for this option and will never ask you to validate confidential information through e-mail.  If you receive an e-mail from someone claiming to be a bank or credit card company do not respond.  Instead, call your bank or credit card company on a number you know is reliable and report the e-mail.
  • Refrain from having other people send sensitive information to you through e-mail.  If you need someone's Social Security Number or other personal information for business reasons or to file legal paperwork it is better to have them give you the numbers in person.
  • Be careful when using your e-mail to sign up for different online services.  Make sure the site is trustworthy and that their privacy policy meets your standards.  Some website will ask for your e-mail then sell it to other companies who will inundate you with spam.

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