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You've Got Mail.. Or Spam

You’ve got mail!!! For far too many people this little canned voice is nothing but a harbinger of bad things to come. If your system has been targeted by one of the hundreds of email scammers proliferating the Internet, your headaches have just begun. Should a hacker invade your inbox with a virulent email, you will have to take immediate and aggressive action. Often this results in ultimate frustration, not to mention time gobbling effort. The wisest thing one can do to protect their email from malicious attack is to install email filters that work tirelessly in the background to protect your system and its content. In addition to installing email filters, you can give yourself a modicum of security by adhering to the following: Spammers like to send innocent looking emails with “Remove” in the subject line.

Unless you are confident of whom the email is from, you should NEVER reply to its sender by clicking on the “remove” link. Even though the body of this mail may contain detailed instructions outlining the procedure to remove your address from their mailing list, don’t be fooled. Spammers like to include these links so users will think the offer is legitimate. Most of the time, they are nothing more than a fishing expedition to see if your email is working and legitimate. Once they get this information, look out – life as you know it will not be the same.

Word to the wise: Delete, delete, delete!!! Turn the tables on spammer spiders by altering your email address on line. Spiders harvest email addresses by crawling the net, surreptitiously capturing email address from guest books, registration services and white page directories. Instead of posting your address as: “person@thisplace.com”, type in: “person at http://thisplace.com”. Spiders will skim their sneaky little legs right on past and you will never feel their sting. You should guard your email as diligently as you do your personal address and home phone number. Use a primary email address for contact with friends, family and business connections, and set up a secondary email address for all online forms. Free email accounts are available on the web from providers such as yahoo and hotmail – these companies spend astounding amounts to protect their servers from malicious content, so most spamming attacks are blocked at the outset. Installing and maintaining email filters can effectively snatch the welcome mat out from under the feet of spammers lurking in the doorway of your operating system.

You can program them to automatically delete any unauthorized email before it can be opened, but most users like to retain the option of either white listing or black listing senders. Email filters allow all white listed (wanted) email to reach your inbox, while blacklisted addresses (those you have not authorized) will be spiraled into the refuse bin. This can sometimes lead to a catch-22 situation. Your email filtering program must be set up so it does not inadvertently block legitimate email. In these days of world wide commerce, even one mistakenly blocked email can have a detrimental impact on our business. So, when installing an email filtering program, make sure it is equipped with the technology that can combine variables including specific criteria, real time research and intelligence data in order to ensure you are not throwing the baby out with the bath water.


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