unsafe emails

 

Overview

spam comes in our inboxes every day. here is a list of how to tell what things not to open...

attachments

here is a list of file extensions on attachments you should avoid: (you should turn on the feature of windows explorer that makes it show file extensions for known file types so you can see the file extensions, or have an IT/IS technician fix things so you can see this, just be careful renaming files not to rename the extension!):

  • .pif
  • .cmd
  • .exe
  • .scr
  • .bat
  • .vbs
  • .txt (maybe)
  • greeting cards (!)

with .txt, .exe, .bat and .cmd, if it's coming from someone you know, and you asked them to send you the email, then the email is safe. otherwise, it is possible to get spammed from even people you know. oftentimes these are viruses or worms or other malware you want to avoid, and they can cause damage to your computer, contain keyloggers to steal passwords, steal bank info or other nasties.

don't double-click on the items listed above - that runs them.

If you must work with such a file, right-click and download the file and scan it with your virus scanner first. it still may not be safe. virus scanners don't catch everything.

content

avoid the followiing email content:

  • emails all in caps
  • emails that have funny mixtures of caps or characters that are not part of the english language or otherwise do not use proper english (might be possible it's from a kid, but could also be from a spammer)
  • emails which in content or in title mention large amounts of money
  • store offers which promise to give $10 cashback/reward ($10 back now in exchange for $15 to them every month from your credit card). always read the fine print!
  • emails requesting your credit card number, bank account number, or wanting to run money through your bank account, or requesting personal information