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FWD: Check the Sender!

January 22, 2010 by Josh
Hey, everyone. Josh from Internet Beacon, here. We’re a Search Engine Optimization firm in Finksburg, MD. Essentially, SEO is a form of Internet Marketing. We work hard so your business is among the first results when people try to find the service/product you offer. Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about safe use of one of the Internet’s biggest areas, e-mail. I know a lot of you are thinking, “I’m pretty safe with my email use”. But it never hurts to take another look at your usage. email FWD: Check the Sender!

One of the biggest concerns I hear is from people forwarding emails to others. The emails could contain something that seems pretty funny, like quiz to find out “Which Muppet You Are”, or others are politically motivated. Naturally, people want to pass information that they enjoy to their friends. However, of concern is where this information originates.

While a lot of interesting content is available online, it is very important that the source is examined. There are plenty of websites out there that seem legitimate. What they are really doing is spreading around malicious software without your knowledge and, sometimes, with your name attached! A good rule when using email is to check where the message was sent.

For example, any email you get from someone named “Me” or a variation of that is almost always a scam. Also, be careful of anyone whose name you do not instantly recognize. You should have a mental list of people you trust online (usually your family, friends, and coworkers). If anyone else sends you something, it is perfectly acceptable to be suspicious. In fact, I would caution against opening any messages from people whom you do not directly know.

Another important thing to consider the kind of email you get from the sender. Do they have a habit of forwarding anything and everything they see? It is often in good fun, but you should still be careful. Just because you trust them doesn’t mean you trust wherever they got the link, picture, etc. they sent you. The best defense here is common sense and critical thinking. In addition, using an email service that scans email attachments for you as well as having up to date Anti-Virus software on your PC both go a long way towards safety.

In the end, e-mail security is just like any other kind of security. You wouldn’t open packages left on your doorstep sent from someone you don’t know, and the same rules apply here. Remember, just because it’s online doesn’t mean it doesn’t have consequences offline. That’s all for this week! I’ll see you all next week.

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