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PC Security - Email Security

Everybody uses email these days it seems. It is a common question - 'What is your email address?' It is as common as asking for one's phone number, address, or even their name! Unfortunately, email offers malicious people a way to perform a computer break-in. Much like a thief knowing your home address. At one time, our greatest concern was spam, now our greatest concern is computer security, although spam is still a big problem!

Viruses can arrive by email easily, usually in the form of attachments. Never open an attachment from someone that you do not know. Even then, make sure that the attachment is scanned before you open it!These viruses will often access your address book, and then send itself to everyone in that address book, infecting more computers. These viruses can send themselves to everyone you know before you even know you are infected!

Obviously, the best way to prevent these viruses is not to open any attachments. But in our world of technology, this isn't always possible. The second line of defense is a good virus scanner that scans incoming email as well. Most email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook, do not have anti-virus software included!

Aside from viruses that arrive by email, phishing, which is pronounced as fishing, is also a problem. These emails don't harm your computer at all - until you click on the link that is provided in the email. A common phishing scheme is to try to get the email recipient to click on the link, and enter login information for one of several popular financial websites, such as a bank or PayPal.

These websites will commonly look exactly like what you would expect to see at the legitimate website, with one difference - the URL or website address is not right. The link in the email even looks legitimate. Phishing of this type leads to credit card fraud or identity theft.

You can recognize phishing emails in a variety of ways. First, look at the subject line of the email, and the email message. They will not contain your first name, whereas legitimate emails from financial institutions and such will use your real name. Another way to find out if the email is legitimate is to simply hover your mouse over the link in the email, and see if the information that pops up matches the text of the link.

Software is currently being developed to detect phishing, but it hasn't quite made it through production just yet. This software currently mistakes real email for phishing email or fraud emails.

It is important to back your email up. This can usually be done by importing the email messages to a folder, and then use your regular backup program to record the folder to a removable disk or CD. There are also specialized backup programs, such as those for Microsoft Outlook, that will make backup of email even easier.

  PC Security: Index
  PC Security: Internet Browsers
  PC Security: Spam
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 1
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 2
  PC Security: Spam Scams
  PC Security: Email Security and Spam
  PC Security: Email Security
  PC Security: Computer Viruses
  PC Security: Protecting Computers From Viruses
  PC Security: Worm Viruses
  PC Security: Trojan Horse Viruses
  PC Security: Rootkits
  PC Security: Removing a Virus
  PC Security: Virus Hoaxes
  PC Security: Server Viruses
  PC Security: Home Network
  PC Security: Cell Phone Viruses
  PC Security: Spyware
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 1
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 2
  PC Security: Parental Control Software
  PC Security: Malware - Spyware and Adware
  PC Security: Data Backups
  PC Security: Pop Up Windows
  PC Security: Safe Public Computer Use

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