PSA: Some Email Scams and Security Measures You Can Take

Last month, several companies sent out warnings that their vendor company, Epsilon, had been hacked.  The result, at least in my inbox, has been a surge of spam emails.

If you have a good spam mail filter, you'll probably find many of these emails go in your "junk" folder.  Those messages that fool the filters, however, might fool you, as well.

For instance, a number of important upgrades have appeared in my inbox for products I use.  If you are in the middle of something else and not paying much attention, it may be tempting to simply click the link, provide your info, and step away from your screen to let the program do its thing.  Usually, that includes mining your address book for contacts and installing tracking cookies or something even more sinister in your now compromised system.

Your closer look at the senders' email addresses will help you out.  For instance, here's one I received from someone claiming to be Adobe Support did not have an "adobe.com" email address even though it had "adobe.com" in its name-field, as in "TrustMe@email.adobe.com [scam-generator198@lookingforsuckers.com]."  Hmm... something fishy about that.

Other critical questions like "Why is this company emailing me about new updates when their products automatically update?" should put such scams to rest.

While there is not much we can do in light of spam we are getting (unless you are interested in getting a new email address), there are preventive steps you can take to ensure your online experience is a safe one.  LifeHacker recently posted the following suggestions:
10. Use Temporary Credit Cards to Avoid Repeat Billing 
9. Leave Your Home Address Off Your GPS Unit 
8. Use a Fake Birthday for Web Signups 
7. Change Your Gender for Less Annoying Ads 
6. Use HTTPS Whenever Possible 
5. Use AdBlock, Even if You Don't Block Ads 
4. Save Yourself from IM Distractions and Annoyances 
3. Use Disposable Email Addresses to Avoid Spam 
2. Create Secure, Easy-to-Remember Passwords 
1. Keep Your Security Questions as Private as Your Passwords

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