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Safe Hex when using Email
Go here for help with dealing with Spam, InterNet Hoaxes, Nigerian ScamSpam, and Viruses
Safety Precautions when using Email
- Use A Virus Program and keep it up-to-date. There is free virus software available if you can't afford the commercial programs. Update it regularly - do it every week - new viruses come out every day.
- Use an email provider which checks attachments for viruses, and always check before opening an attachment
- Be wary of sending out your full name whenever you send a message. When you set up your email account you probably answered a question which asked for your name. That is probably what gets put on every email you send. You shouldn't be communicating with strangers and sending you full name because a stranger can track your address and find where you live, just from your last name and the state you live in
- Outlook Express Users : Open Outlook Express. On the menu across the top, click on "Tools", then click on "Accounts", Select "Mail Tab", then click on the email account you would like change.
Then "Properties". Under the General tab, User Information, you can Change the User Name.
If you are using an older version of this email client, you can search the help option for "Accounts, change settings for" or call you Internet Service Provider for help
- Netscape Mail Users : Open the Netscape Message Center. On the menu across the top, click on "Edit", then on "Preferences". If necessary, click on the + sign next to "mail & groups" on the left hand side. Click on "identity" under the "mail & groups", and change "your name" on the right hand side. If you are using a different version, search help for the word "identity" or call your Internet Service Provider for help
- Eudora Light Users : Open Eudora Light, select "Tools" on the menu at the top, then "Options". On the left hand side, select "Personal Info"; change the information in the "Real Name" field. For different versions of this program search the help option for "real name" or contact your Internet Service Provider for help
- Never arrange a meeting with someone you have met online
- Never give out your full name, address, phone number or other personal information
- Never give out your passwords to anyone
- Beware of "phishing" scams - Phising uses an email to deceive you into thinking that it is requesting information from a legitimate company when in fact it is designed to get you to send information to identity thieves. Phishing Emails ask for too much Information. No reputable company will ever ask you for your password, social security number, or credit card information in an email. It is not safe to send this kind of information in an email because it is not secure. If anyone asks for this information, refuse to send it - just don't answer the email. Phishing Email has a "Return" Email Address that doesn't match. Remember that the "Return Address" which is displayed can be different to the email address which is actually linked to the text. To verify the address that you are actually sending to, click "Reply" then highlight the email address in the "To" area. Right click on the highlighted area and select "Properties". This will tell you the address it is really being sent to. If they don't match, don't reply. Report the scam to the Email Provider for that message. Contact the pretended source (Financial institution, email provider, webpage provider, whatever) that the message appears to come from, and report the incident. Ask if they really sent the message, and tell them that you do not send such information by email
- Some email scams ask you to call a telephone number. This is designed to make you feel better because you are talking to a person. Remember that the telephone number can lead to any place (anyone can get an 800 number and answer it in any way they want and claim to be an official organization). In one scam to steal people's identity they asked them to call and they asked for the person's name and social security number, then hung up. Never give out this kind of information
- the "PayPal" Scam - "Please Verify Information" - emails which appear to come from PayPal, but which are variations on the Phishing Scam. They look like they're for real. They say that you need to verify your paypal account information. They even include official looking graphics from Paypal. They ask you to verify your email address, password, credit card number, and bank pin number. If you enter this information, the thieves can log onto Paypal with the information you have given them, and then drain your bank account and charge anything on your credit card. Don't answer the email - Report it to Paypal. There is also a variation which pretends to come from EBay.
- Companies will never ask you to verify your password or ask for credit card information on an email. Always make sure that you are using a secure Website before entering credit card information. To verify if you are using a secure connection look for a locked padlock on the bottom of your status bar and https in the url instead of http
- "Envelope-stuffing scams" - offers either by email or in local newspaper ads, for people to earn money at home by stuffing envelopes. You won't earn any money this way - you'll be asked to send money to learn about stuffing envelopes, or the "company" will ask you to send in a fee to start with them. Say goodbye to your money
- If you receive an email that threatens you and claims that the sender knows personal information about you, you should report it to the police. If you get an email that speaks of despicable acts on another person, or mentions child pornography, you should report it. Report anything that you think is illegal. Most times, police will be able to track down the source of an email through the header of the email. This header contains specific information about where the email came from. If you receive a email threat, do not delete it, because the authorities will be able to gain information from it about the sender. If you receive child pornography or other objectionable material in your email box, do not forward it to show anyone else, because then you yourself would be guilty of distributing child pornography, etc.
Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved
PO Box 70
Last Updated: December 30, 2006