E-Mail is truly wonderful. A way to communicate instantly and
no hunting for stamps. However, you must keep a few things in
mind to play it safe, make sure your message is received in the
proper tone, and avoid (as best as you can) spam.
You will need a password for your email account. In some cases,
such as ISP provided accounts, you are assigned a password. If
you create your own passwords, make sure they are not normal words
that can be found in a dictionary (combinations of two words is
fine, or a word and numbers) and make sure it is not easily guessable.
Do not use a family member's name, a pets name, the words safe,
password, remember, etc. Do not use strings of numbers such as
123456 or letter combinations like qwerty or asdf. If you have
multiple e-mail accounts with different providers, protect yourself
against renegade employees by using a different password for each
When someone emails you asking for a password or credit card
information, do not provide it. Your provider will always know
this information, and if they truly need personal information
like this, call them at their listed number before providing it
to make sure you have the actual company and not someone pretending
to be with them. You would be astounded how many people fall for
the "AOL needs your password because we lost it" ploy.
E-Mail can appear to be from someone that looks legitimate but
is actually from someone "spoofing" (pretending to be
someone) an E-Mail address.
Never open unexpected attachments. If someone sends you an attachment
(especially a program attachment) do not run it. Instead, E-Mail
the sender back and ask what it is. It may inconvenience you slightly,
but it is far better than accidentally installing a virus, trojan
horse program or backdoor into your system. Teach your friends
and family not to do this either. If you find yourself or a friend
E-Mailing a file you did not send, go to a virus protection site
and search for the file name and scan your system for viruses.
Before clicking on unknown links received in E-Mail, make sure
they lead where you think they will. By hovering your mouse over
a link, you will see where the link will actually take you.
Spam is unwanted mass-marketing E-Mail. A lot of it is sexual
in nature (pornography being the biggest money maker on the World
Wide Web). Spammers get your address in many ways. Usually they
find your E-Mail address on newsgroups (UseNet), websites, or
perhaps even your website registry if you have one. Try to use
a mailbox like hotmail or yahoo when posting messages publicly.
When signing up for websites, make sure you select the options
not to have your information shared and choose not to be notified
by the company of special unless you really want their E-Mails.
As always, if you have any questions, please visit us online by
clicking the Chat link.