What internet users need to know about those spam emails

BY JIMMY MAWERERE

Spam email is any email that was not requested by a user but was sent to that user and many others. This is done typically, but not always, with malicious intent. Spammers usually acquire recipient addresses from publicly accessible sources, or they use certain programmes to collect addresses on the web.

Usually when you post your email addresses on websites or in news groups, you are most likely to attract spam.

You might receive spam if you fill out online forms, although most reputable sites have good privacy policies and will not share your information.

However, it is up to you to decide what sites you trust and not end up being a victim of spammers.

One of the other simple ways to find out why you are getting so much spam is to type your email address into a search engine, such as google.com. The number of times your address is found by the search may surprise you! Spam can at times be sent from computers infected by viruses.

Virus- makers and spammers are combining their efforts to compromise innocent computer users’ systems and convert them into spam-sending “drones” or “zombies”.

These malicious programmes spread rapidly and generate massive amounts of spam, pretending to be from legitimate addresses. It is important that all computer owners install and maintain up-to-date anti-virus software to mitigate the spread of spam. Email users can also be affected by falsified messages claiming to be from service administrators, stating that the users’ account has been closed and requires specific action to be re-opened.

Such messages often contain viruses that will steal your login credentials. Just ignore or delete them.

How to identify spam

They will rarely address you by name or provide any personal information about you except your email address, because the senders do not have access to such information. Chances are that most of us reading this can easily identify a spam message in our inbox and ignore it. There are individuals in the world who will respond to spam messages, giving the malicious spammers who sent them exactly the risky financial or personal information that those spammers want.

The result can be profit for the spammers and even financial loss for the recipients. Ignore pop-ups asking whether you would want to receive newsletters and other offers. Be proactive; adjust your web browser settings to offer a preventative measure. For better security, do not accept site cookies. For a higher level of security, have your browser disallow all this to help reduce the amount of personal information transmitted to sites at the expense of full functionality, since many legitimate websites require you to accept cookies.

Spamming is unethical.

Most email service providers have put measures in place to reduce and eliminate spam email but these steps are breached. It is up to you to be security conscious and stop carelessly dispensing your address on the Internet.

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