Email safety is still very important in a time when texting and tweeting are becoming primary communication methods. And with most people preoccupied with texting, instant messaging and tweeting, paying attention to the emails we open may not be a priority. Email scams are still very much alive and well and just waiting for someone to overlook their email and open it in hopes of passing along a virus to your computer or gaining your personal information. So, to help avoid email scams and keep your computer safe and virus free, here are 5 ways that you can protect your computer and yourself from email scammers.
1. Check the spelling on the email: Pay attention to the email you are about to open. When you check your email, look for misspelled words and incomplete or awkward sentences. Some scam emails come from what appear to be legitimate companies, but the company or organization name may be misspelled. Scammers are counting on your overlooking these misspellings.
2. Pay attention to who sent the email and where it came from: A legitimate business will have a person's name and contact info, not some vague email signature such as "customer support" or "management".
3. Check the domain name of the sender. Scammers cannot duplicate the domain name of a reputable business easily, but beware, because they will use a name similar to the company's name.
4. Be aware of emails in all caps: Emails in all caps especially in the subject line are a sign that this email may be a scam. The scammers are trying to get your attention by displaying a sense of urgency for you to open it. Also, look for exclamation marks and warnings such as, "urgent!" or "danger!".
5. Do not download email attachments: These attachments may contain viruses, so only open them it you know they are from a legitimate source.
6. Do not click on links to other websites: Once you click on these links they may ask for your personal information and if it the email looks like it is from a legitimate company, you may feel ok to give out your information. Please err on the side of caution and be sure it is from a legitimate website.
With so much of our lives being spent on the internet and using such technology these simple steps will help save you from a big headache in the long run!