IT Best Practices.
Hidden Hazards of Spam And What You Can Do About Them
Spam has been a big problem ever since the early days of email and other online communication, but it carries more than a simple annoyance. Many people simply view spam as a time-consuming problem to delete out of their inboxes each day. Email filters can help, but they frequently fail to completely squash the problem. Spam emails also now carry plenty of hidden hazards, including spyware, backdoor viruses or adware that attaches itself to the operating system registry and is therefore extremely difficult to remove. Some further information about curbing the spam problem will help you avoid these more serious issues.
Spam and Spyware
These unwanted email messages do not necessarily have to carry a “.exe” attachment to be a hazard. Some of these messages inject backdoor spyware as soon as you launch your email program. In some cases, opening the email itself is not even necessary. This kind of spyware can log keystrokes and potentially steal passwords to banking websites, putting the user at risk for financial theft as well.
Spam and Cyber-Thieves
The sophistication of hackers has only grown in recent years, and some have developed viruses that invade unprotected operating systems through innocent-looking email messages. These viruses can slow down or crash systems, corrupt hard drives or steal sensitive personal information. Using a strong anti-virus program from an established vendor is an essential first line of defense against these types of spam-related intrusions.
What You Can Do
One of the first steps to curb spam is to only subscribe to email alerts or newsletters from trusted sources. Do a search about the organization in question and look for any past complaints about spamming, phishing or related unscrupulous activities. Also check for a clearly worded, easy-to-follow “unsubcribe” policy that does indeed suspend any further email communications.
Securing your system is the next vital step for preventing the hazards of spam. A strong antivirus program is a start, but it’s also worth your while to invest in additional security measures, which include:
- An anti-malware program that often gets deeper than many antivirus software packages.
- Spam-blocking software with easy customization settings.
- Regular back-up and storage of sensitive data to a secure offsite location.
Creating a safe computing environment is vital for any type of personal or business use. For more details about safguarding your system against spam hazards, contact us today!