Protect Yourself from Spam Email

By Eric Andring, IT Compliance & Risk Manager, Bell State Bank & Trust

Email spam is the practice of sending unwanted email messages, usually containing commercial content, in large quantities to email recipients. Most of us receive a few spam messages at work and tend to receive a lot more in our personal email at home. Almost all of us know relatives and friends with good intentions who forward email to others by sending messages they want to share with all of their contacts. These “friendly forwards” also contribute to the amount of spam each of us receives each day.

Costly For Businesses

Spam email represents a significant administrative problem and a costly productivity drain for almost all businesses. It is estimated that nearly 80% of email received by corporate

America today is spam. A significant proportion of spam includes inappropriate material, links to malware, phishing attempts and harmful attachments that could put businesses at risk.

Thankfully, spam filtering solutions are available to help with this effort. An effective filtering solution stops a majority of spam messages and increases employee productivity by preventing spam from reaching employee inboxes.

Most email vendors utilize a spam filter that helps them defend against a majority of these threats. Examples are Hotmail, Gmail, AOL, and Yahoo! Mail. Every now and then, a few spam messages may get past the filter as a result of spammers continually changing their delivery strategies. Email vendors are constantly updating their software and can usually stop newly developed spam within a short period of time.

Protect Yourself

Please keep your defenses up when you suspect an email message is spam. In most cases, the best approach to dealing with these messages is to simply delete them. Please do not click on Web links or open attachments unless you are sure the message is from someone you know and trust.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sponsors an online security website called OnGuardOnline.gov. This website provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer and protect your personal information. Learn more about spam emails in the OnGuardOnline.gov spam section.

 

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