Mail: Making yourself safe

Mail-related threats come in all shapes and sizes. There are a few simple rules that can be followed to stay safe.

  1. Each time you enter your e-mail address at a new website, you raise possibilities of attracting cybercriminals to your account, as well as spammers. A good strategy is to have several mail accounts, with one used for writing emails and another for website registrations.

  2. Always pay attention to names and addresses of senders. If you don’t know them, don’t open the attachments, regardless of the theme that might contain words like “re:” or “Concerning your question”. This is a well-known trick that criminals and spammers use to spread their spam or scam messages that are not really replies to your emails, but could contain harmful attachments or links.

  3. If you have opened a message from a sender that you don’t know, do not open attachments or click on links: there is a very high probability that such content could infect or harm your computer. Remember no antivirus software provides 100% protection: the cybercriminals hone their skills continuously, and if your antivirus software does not recognize the links or attachments as a source of potential danger, it does not necessary mean they are not harmful for your computer.

  4. Be careful even in cases where you receive letters from companies that know your e-mail address, e.g. your bank or insurance company. They can, in fact, be sent by criminals using a very similar address – it’s easy to confuse an address with one or two letters changed in it with a legitimate one. If these letters urge you to visit company website by clicking a link and entering your password, or upload documents necessary for something, call the company instead using phone numbers or e-mails listed at the official website of the company, and ask if they have sent such request. This measure would not take much of your time, but will prevent serious consequences of exposing your password or data. The link contained in the letter could lead to a false webpage, and if the criminals gain access to your bank account password while you enter it at such website, this could lead to some major losses.

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