Anyone with an email account, local businesses and your customers, is subject to a variety of email nuisances.
We’re all familiar with SPAM, those unwanted emails that arrive in your inbox and can take up your valuable time.
Other people seem to get their kicks out of spreading viruses and they can do this through attachments that when opened infect your computer.
Even worse than that are those nefarious folks who are goin’ Phishing.
Phishing is when someone sends an email that asks for personal information like financial or account information or personal details like birthdate or social security number. What makes Phishing so bad is that often these people are posing as reputable companies or even friends, which often leads people to think it is safe to respond.
If you get a request via email for any vital information, including passwords, account numbers or security questions do not respond and certainly do not provide private information. Anyone who actually SHOULD have that information will have it.
Sometimes the Phishing expedition is even more sly than that and they will actually not request information but include a link to their store or corporate website. If you click on that link you would then be redirected to a site where they can capture your keystrokes or gather information without your even realizing it.
Recently Facebook users were finding their accounts hacked and their photos placed on X-rated sites. The users had responded to a “friend” either on Facebook or via email who asked for private information.
If you receive an email that seems odd from a friend, family member or business that you frequent contact that person/business. If they have been hacked they will appreciate the heads up. But do not contact them by clicking “reply” instead give them a call or contact them through their official website, Facebook page or Twitter account–some alternate method you have to reach them.
Suspicious emails may be reported to the local Better Business Bureau (BBB) or www.ic3.gov
This can happen to anyone--a recent breach in the Epsilon database has affected customer records for numerous financial institutions and shopping sites including: BJ’s, Barclays Bank of Delaware, Best Buy, Brookstone, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Disney Destinations, Home Shopping Network, JPMorgan Chase, Kroger (that’s King Soopers here in Colorado), LL Bean, Marriott Rewards, McKinsey & Co., New York & Co, Ritz-Carton Rewards, The College Board, TiVo, US Bank, Walgreens.
Update your spyware, virus protection and spam filters and keep them current. This will help prevent these emails from getting through.
Back up your computer regularly. This is great protection for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that if you are the unfortunate victim of a computer hack you are better able to get your system back up and running quickly–an important point for businesses and home users.
Social Media Managers can clean up your email inbox to help keep your email safe. Not only will the SMM will get rid of SPAM for you, he/she will also be sure the most urgent emails are flagged for your attention. You can work with the SMM to set up procedures on how some emails are handled so you may be able to offload some correspondence and customer service issues to your SMM saving you a lot of time.
Summary of Best eMail Safety Tips:
- Don’t click on links in email—even if it appears to be coming from a reputable company. Instead use your search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) and contact the company that way.
- Never provide passwords, social security numbers, account details or birthdates to people via email.
- Don’t open attachments in email unless you are sure the email is real. If a friend never sends attachments be wary if you get one!
- Report suspicious emails.
- Keep spyware, virus protection and spam filters up to date
- Back up your systems regularly.