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E-mail Security and Phishing

E-mail security is a complicated problem.  E-mails can contain malicious attachments or lead you to malicious web sites.  Here are a few tips:


-Do not open attachments unless you are sure it is safe.  Claims that you have a package or need to open some attached invoice are usually false.  These attachments can load software on your computer such as Key Loggers which can track every keystroke and send your passwords to criminals.  Other software can turn your computer into a spam sender or put up a web page advertised by spam (called a network robot or “botnet”).  These malicious attachements can be complicated and can sometimes avoid detection because they change so often.

-If you are sent to a suspicious web site that asks to download a “viewer” to see pictures or claims to be “scanner” for malicious software do not agree to download anything. 


-Use an e-mail system that blocks attachments before they get to you.


-Use an e-mail system that blocks out spam.  These sometimes block legitimate e-mail but systems are getting better.


-Use an e-mail system that uses “SPF” filtering to block forged e-mail.  This works by checking the domain records to make sure the mail is originating from the correct place.


-Get a domain name to use for e-mail and get a service that allows you have multiple e-mail accounts and allows you to change them.  For instance, example.com can have [email protected], [email protected], etc.  These addresses can be created for specific purposes and if it gets too much spam, just change the address. 


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