Posted by & filed under IT Security, IT Support.

Not a week goes by without me receiving an email from a well meaning colleague, friend or relative warning me about a paricular nasty spam email or virus.

The scenario is usually the same, they have received this from one of their friends, colleagues, etc with a note to say that they should look out for a particular email and that they shouldn’t open the attachment if they get it. I don’t think that spam email has ever subsequently arrived in my Inbox!

The problem is that these emails are themselves spam and generally designed to clog up the internet with rubbish. If each person receives such an email and sends it to just 10 friends and those 10 friends do the same, after just 10 forwards that generates 1000,000,000 (one thousand million) emails.

The advice that each of these emails offer is standard advice that should apply all the time you are using email.

The bottom line is you should never open any attachment on an email unless you are expecting it or it is from someone you know. By “someone you know” I don’t mean that it comes from their email address as this could still be dangerous! You can generally tell that it’s from someone you know because of what it says in the body of the email. If it says “Check this out”, or “This is great, take a look” or words to that effect then stay clear until you’ve checked with the sender. If it contains personal content referring to people and places only you would know then you’re probably safe to open it.

These are general rules that should ALWAYS be applied when dealing with emails and this, combined with a good anti-virus software, will protect you without the need to spot specific emails.

So let’s free up the internet and stop wasting time forwarding and reading these warning emails… just delete them in the future.

Stay safe!