E-Mails You Shouldn’t Open

Written by on July 10, 2012 in Technology - No comments | Print this page

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The Internet is has incredible capacity to connect people from all kinds of people from all over the world. While it may be exciting to keep in touch with old friends or to make interesting new ones, it can be hard to know exactly who to trust.

There’s no shortage of ill intentioned predators on the internet out to steal your valuable information or simply wreak havoc.

One of their most effective avenues to take advantage is through e-mail, so how do you know which e-mails you can and cannot trust?

  • E-mails with casually written subject lines. Oftentimes, these will be from a name you don’t recognize, but it will seem from the subject like it may be someone you knew from long ago trying to touch base. They will often say things like “Hey, check out this crazy pic!!!!”, “you won’t believe what she did this time!!”, or other sensationalist articles. You have to be weary of e-mails from trusted sources, too, because oftentimes friends and family will get hacked and the hackers will send their malicious e-mails to everyone on their contact lists.
  • E-mails with attachments. Attachments should be your first warning sign, as this is a hacker’s most direct way of installing harmful software on your computer. If an attachment from a trusted source still looks suspicious to you, contact the sender directly to make sure it’s legitimate.
  • E-mails advertising cheap prescription drugs. If you’re lucky, these people are just trying to sell you worthless lookalike placebos, but they probably want to steal your credit card information.

A good rule of thumb when deciding to open an e-mail is to stop, and think about whether or not you expected this e-mail. Is it typical for the sender to send you this kind of letter? Don’t let paranoia stop you from enjoying an e-mail account, and never hesitate to contact them by other means to be sure they sent it themselves.

Remember tools like AdBlock and NoScript that keep the hackers one step behind, and always make sure you have up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed.

Hackers will try many different tricks to take advantage of our trust. Do you remember any particularly clever methods they’ve used?

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About the Author

Tony Locurto

Tony Locurto is a writer, roamer, and game designer. American born, you may find him working organic farmlands or reporting on major events all throughout the world, but never too far from the comforting glow of a computer monitor. View all technology articles.