If a spammer gets a hold of both a company’s email and IP adress, the impact can be disastrous. The company’s Internet connection would be terminated by it’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) if its an email that is added on the black list of spamming addresses. It is very important to guard all gateways of a network. Having a firewall and anti-virus software sometimes isn’t enough to keep you safe. An intrusion detection system(IDS) is good to have, this system makes sure nobody is able to access your network without permission.
We have gotten a little wiser when it comes to email spams and scams. Cybercriminals are also doing their homework and becoming more clever with these scams. An email scam might start out with a bill that’s owed or even a wedding invitation from a friend.
Here are a few tips for keeping your email safe:
- Look at the IP address
Check the link from the sender by hovering over the email address, make sure the link looks legit and makes sense.
- Be careful with shortened URLs
Twitter uses URL shorteners but be cautious if you receive one in your email. Ask yourself why would anyone not want to show the company they are sending an email from.
Even if the email looks professional and has a telephone number, it can be a cyber-criminal trick. The phone number may lead you to a scammer requesting for personal information.
- Don’t give out your email address
Giving out your email address is a bad idea. Electric companies in the U.S. were targeted with a “spear phishing” attack, which used information on company websites. Also be aware of the uncertainty of putting your email address public to social networks or Craigslist.
- Don’t auto load images
Don’t configure your email settings to where images are automatically downloaded. This will send a signal to spammers and the images sent to you are stored onto their servers with your email connected to them.
- Don’t spam yourself
Be mindful of filling out internet forms. Don’t click on the “I want to receive information”, box unless you truly trust the company. Even if the company is reputable, your email could possibly be passed on to other lists.
Bank account information, credit card numbers, and passwords are not safe in your “Sent” folder. These details can be picked up by spammers very easily.
- Make recovery questions hard
Questions like your first job or your mothers maiden name can be found very easily. Choose something harder, or if possible make up your own question.
Unless we are aware of the possibilities of how these cyber criminals are take our identity and personal info, we will not know who to prevent it from happening. Make sure you always have strong passwords and an up-to-date anti-virus on your computer. Be cautious when connecting to open Wifi spots and consider a multi-factor authentication to add extra security to your system. Fortunately, the U.S. Federal Government and email service providers have been taking steps to reduce and hopefully eliminate spam email.
Bulletproof Inbox: Tips for staying safe (and sane) on email – WeLiveSecurity
August 2, 2013
Ten Scariest Hacking Statistics – StopTheHacker
April 20, 2013
Email hacking – Wikipedia
What is Email Spam? – Comm100
Thumbnail image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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