Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Avoiding Halloween Email Tricks

This Halloween, Keep Spooky Emails At Bay

It seems like virtually every holiday now comes with an outbreak of computer viruses as people click on "holiday greetings" from strangers. Don't get tricked this Halloween when you're expecting a treat! Be on the lookout for suspicious messages and brush up on a few perennial good email habits:

  1. If you don't recognize the name of the sender or if the subject line is garbled or misspelled, don't open it.
  1. Set your email so that it doesn't automatically display HTML. You can approve the emails whose images you want to see -- for example, newsletters from trusted sources like CMIT! -- while filtering out images you'd rather not see.
  1. Do not send confidential personal information over email. This includes credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and Social Security numbers. 
  1. Don't forward along chain mails. They're a nuisance at best, and at worst can serve as a mechanism for spreading viruses. If you're added to somebody's address book through a chain email, a virus from their computer that spreads by sending a message to all their contacts could end up in your inbox.
  1. Regularly run a virus/spyware scan and download the updates -- after all, your anti-virus/anti-spyware protection is only as good as its last update! File scans do tend to slow down your computer, so you should schedule them for when you know you'll be away for a while. Of course, if you computer is being protected by CMIT's Marathon services, we've got you covered and you don't have to worry about scheduling scans or updating - it's all done automatically.


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