Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Some tips to avoid getting email viruses and scams in spam

Everybody has an email address now, but most of our personal communication has shifted to social networks and other direct, faster chatting and messaging platforms like Whatsapp, Telegram, We Chat, Line, Hike, Hangouts, etc.

But emails continue to be sent and recieved. What is interesting that a great majority of the email traffic is unsolicited spam. Emails of promotions that you never signed up for, email scams like the Nigerian prince scams, and virus.

Spam email with an accurate link for once


  • The first tip is to keep a separate throwaway email address to use when signing up on various websites. Keep a separate email address for personal emails and work emails. In fact, if you want, you can keep mail forwarding setting in many email services(including Gmail) to forward your email to your main email account.
  • Another tip is to not post your email address as text in websites or blogs or comments in any place. Software keeps searching for email addresses to find a valid active email address.
  • Beware of unexpected or unsolicited e-mail attachments
  • It is the attachment to the e-mail that contains the potential hazard. If the attachment came from an unknown sender either unexpected or unsolicited, the best decision would be to delete the e-mail without opening it. If the e-mail is from a known and trusted source, but did not expect an attached file from that source, you may want to contact the sender to confirm that the attachment is legitimate.
  • Avoid forwarding e-mail attachments unless you first scan the attachment for viruses
  • If you have an anti-virus program that scans all incoming e-mail attachments, or if you can scan the attachment after it arrives, then it is probably safe to forward the attachment. Otherwise, do not forward the attachment.



  • Look for an unexpected file extension on any attachment
  • If the subject line or the body of an e-mail states that the attachment is a certain type of file or the file icon implies a certain type of file and the file extension does not match, delete the file. 
  • If you trust the sender, contact that person to determine what you were supposed to have received.
  • Back up your date files on a regular basis
  • In a worst case scenario, a virus may corrupt or destroy data on one or more files. Regular backups will allow you to recover more easily in the event that a virus damages your files.
  • Don't open an email attachment unless you know what it is and who it is from.
  • Most viruses spread by emails come one of two ways - in an attachment, or through a link to an infected website.  Either way, you the user have to click on it to activate it.  So don't!  Almost all the email attachments we care about we expect or know what it is.  You do not have to open every email you get, and you do not have to look at every attachment. 
  • If you know who it it's from, but don't know what it is, open the email in "Safe Mode".
  • If you use MS Outlook, you can move the email to your Junk Mail folder and open it from there.  Junk Mail turns off everything except text - no pictures, no working links - nothing but text.  In fact, if there are embedded or disguised links, it changes the link to text and you can read where it really goes to - not where the original email said it would go to. 
  • (If you are using webmail, open the email in text format, not HTML format.  And, don't open the attachment.  It's safe up on the web server as long as you don't open it.)
  • Don't believe the return address: Though an e-mail message may claim it's from your bank, your ISP, or even your boss, that doesn't mean it is. Spammers and virus mailers generally spoof the From address field in their messages with a legitimate address that they've stolen. You may even have received spam from yourself as a result of this clever technique.
  • Of course, not all e-mail is bad. But if a message from a coworker or friend insists that you launch a file attachment, first confirm with the sender what the file is (make a call or send an e-mail asking whether the purported sender in fact e-mailed the file attachment, and whether it is indeed intended for you). If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of the message and its attachment, delete them.
  • Don't believe the message: To persuade you to launch a virus-laden mail attachment or provide your personal information, virus authors must earn your trust. They try to accomplish this by composing convincing-looking messages that appear to be sent from Microsoft, your ISP, or some other entity you do business with. The message may even contain links to a counterfeit version of the company's Web site, complete with genuine-looking graphics and corporate logos.
  • Often the message laments that the company is experiencing technical problems, and that it needs you to click an executable attachment. You don't need to rely on your intuition to determine whether this message is truthful. If the message hasn't been verified by a company representative via phone or in person, it almost certainly contains a virus. Microsoft doesn't e-mail updates to its customers, and neither should your ISP.
  • Don't believe the link, either: A link in an e-mail message that claims to point to a Citibank Web site may not really go there. Devious phishing scams use the wonders of HTML to snooker you into uploading your Social Security number, PIN, credit card number, password, or other sensitive data to a scammer's Web site. A carefully crafted e-mail message purporting to be from your bank, PayPal, or some other institution (and often also containing links to the real company's Web site) warns that you must update your records there. The biggest tip-off should be this: Banks and ISPs don't lose your information and then send e-mail requests for you to reenter it online. Another tip-off is that the link text and the real underlying URL don't match. Always examine log-in Web pages and their URLs closely. If you do get hooked by creeps on a phishing expedition, notify your bank, ISP, or other institution immediately.
  • Don't download the browser code: You're browsing the Web via Microsoft's Internet Explorer when suddenly an official-looking dialog box pops up, asking if you want to download a browser plug-in. Why not? You do the same thing all the time when using Microsoft's Windows Update Web site.But if you want to avoid a flurry of pop-ups, undesirable toolbars, a home-page hijacking, or worse, don't do it. Certificates won't protect you from adware and other online annoyances borne by these ActiveX controls. If you're really unlucky, you could end up with th
  • Install quality antivirus
  • Many computer users believe free antivirus applications, such as those included with an Internet service provider's bundled service offering, are sufficient to protect a computer from virus or spyware infection. However, such free anti-malware programs typically don't provide adequate protection from the ever-growing list of threats.
  • Instead, all Windows users should install professional, business-grade antivirus software on their PCs. Pro-grade antivirus programs update more frequently throughout the day (thereby providing timely protection against fast-emerging vulnerabilities), protect against a wider range of threats (such as rootkits), and enable additional protective features (such as custom scans).
  • e dreaded CoolWebSearch infestation 
  • Install real-time anti-spyware protection
  • Many computer users mistakenly believe that a single antivirus program with integrated spyware protection provides sufficient safeguards from adware and spyware. Others think free anti-spyware applications, combined with an antivirus utility, deliver capable protection from the skyrocketing number of spyware threats.
  • Unfortunately, that's just not the case. Most free anti-spyware programs do not provide real-time, or active, protection from adware, Trojan, and other spyware infections. While many free programs can detect spyware threats once they've infected a system, typically professional (or fully paid and licensed) anti-spyware programs are required to prevent infections and fully remove those infections already present.
  • Keep anti-malware applications current
  • Antivirus and anti-spyware programs require regular signature and database updates. Without these critical updates, anti-malware programs are unable to protect PCs from the latest threats.
  • In early 2009, antivirus provider AVG released statistics revealing that a lot of serious computer threats are secretive and fast-moving. Many of these infections are short-lived, but they're estimated to infect as many as 100,000 to 300,000 new Web sites a day.
  • Computer users must keep their antivirus and anti-spyware applications up to date. All Windows users must take measures to prevent license expiration, thereby ensuring that their anti-malware programs stay current and continue providing protection against the most recent threats. Those threats now spread with alarming speed, thanks to the popularity of such social media sites as Twitter, Facebook, and My Space.


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