Actions You Can Take to Avoid Spammers and Hackers
In the case of those skilled in defense, their opponents do not
know where to attack
-- Sun Tzu (Chapter 6): Emptiness and Fullness
Here are some very easy things you can do to avoid
or slow down email spammers and Internet hackers.
1. One of the easiest things you can do to avoid
spam is to never give out your real email address. Your real email
address should only be used with trusted friends and coworkers. For
all other types of email, and for situations that require an email
address from you, you should setup and use a junk email account. A
junk email account is usually obtained from a free web based email
provider like Hotmail or our InfoHQ.com free email.
A junk email account is used for all types of correspondence
when the end-user can not be trusted with your real email address.
So use your junk email account for entering contests, shopping, registering
on web sites etc. When your junk email address becomes so full of
spam that you get tired of managing it, you delete it and get a new
email account. Spam problem solved, you start spam free with a new
2. Don't open junk email. The safest thing to
do with junk email is to delete it.
Bad things can happen by opening junk email such as;
the impossible to close window scam, resetting of your homepage to
the spam site, and loading of unwanted or hostile programs.
Note: Some experts are now claiming that you should not have your email "preview pane" open as hostile programs could be started just by the act of the email being previewed.
I have never seen a program load from the preview pane, however it is a good practice to close the preview pane when dealing with suspicious email.
You should not even consider opening junk email unless
your computer is thoroughly protected and you want to take action
against the sender of the spam.
3. Never open email attachments unless you trust
the sender and you expected an attachment. Computer viruses and
other hacker software is mainly transmitted through email attachments.
Opening email attachments is dangerous. When you open
attachments you are putting your computer at risk.
Unless you are absolutely sure an email attachment is safe, you should
delete the entire email. If it was something important, it can always
|InfoHQ Comment on Email Attachments: The days of sending
the latest cute web thing as an attachment to 100 of your friends
should be long over.
This is a very risky behavior as you are not only risking your
computer, you are endangering the 100 friends you send the attachment
to. If you feel compelled to point out the latest cool web doodad
to your friends, the safest way is to give them the Web address
of the doodad.
If you are the receiver of such attachments, delete the email
and politely inform the sender that you no longer want to receive
their "enlightened" emails as they are very dangerous
4. Don't click on "remove" from mailing lists.
If its a mailing list you subscribed to, or a store you trust, then
you should use the email's unsubscribe feature. For any other type
of spam, you shouldn't unsubscribe from it as this just invites
more spam, nor should you be reading it in the first place.
5. Use your email program's spam blocking features. All
email programs have spam blocking features. Take some time to figure
out how to block email from spammers. With many email programs it
is possible to specify exactly who is allowed to send you email.
You can also download or buy programs that will block email spam,
however these programs will take time to "train" on what
is spam and what isn't.
1. Never post your IP address in a public place.
This is like inviting a hacker to your door. Once they know your
Internet Protocol address (four numbers divided by periods e.g. 168.320.001.01)
they can begin hacking you.
2. Always run your Firewall and Antivirus programs
first. Your firewall and antivirus programs should always be running
before your computer connects to the Internet. If for some reason
you want to turn these programs off, make sure you have first disconnected
from the Internet. It is also a very good idea to enable automatic
software updates in these programs so they stay up-to-date.
3. When you are not using your computer, disconnect
it from the Internet. One of the worst things that can happen
is when a hacker breaks into your computer and you don't even know
it. To prevent unknown attacks, your computer should be disconnected
from the Internet when not in use.
There are various ways to disconnect from the Internet,
you could: turn off the computer, put your computer in Windows' Standby
mode (Start/Shutdown/Standby), break the Windows' Internet connection,
or power down your modem or unplug your LAN cable.
Remember that just because your computer screen has
gone blank/dark doesn't mean that you have disconnected from the Internet.
A blank or dark screen is an indication of power saving mode and does
not mean your computer is disconnected from the Internet.
Also, it is not a good idea to pull cables from your
modem with the power on, as this could short-out your modem or computer.
If you have an external modem and want to turn it off, the best thing
to do is to plug the modem into a switched surge protector, and then
turn the surge protector off.