An astonishing 87 percent of all messages are spam, according to the latest State of Spam Monthly Report by Symantec. And, unfortunately, spam is becoming much harder to block and track.
But there are some best practices for how to stay away, as best you can, from spam. IT Business Edge contributor Paul Mah recently explained some simple ways not to fall prey to spam. Here are a few of those suggestions:
- Do not open spam messages. In addition, never open unknown e-mail attachments. Spam messages are usually quite easy to identify. But while most users will not bother with opening them, it is a different matter to train them not to open spam messages and their e-mail attachments. Even for seasoned IT users, this will eliminate the risk of spammers successfully masquerading malicious links or attachments as something harmless.
- Never reply to spam. Typically the sender's e-mail address is forged, and replying may only result in more spam. While the fruitlessness of replying is obvious to IT professionals and executives, the distinction might not be so clear to end users. Impress upon these users that replying to spam merely validates the authenticity of their e-mail addresses. Basically, responding to spam of any kind likely will ensure they get a whole lot more.
- Do not fill out forms in messages that ask for personal or financial information or passwords; do not click on or cut and paste from a link in the message. The IT department will never ask you for your password or user ID. Human Resources will never ask for personal information by e-mail. If there is a mantra worth drilling into users, this will be it. Be sure to teach, reiterate, remind and then repeat the process again. It is imperative to drill this mercilessly into staffers.
Here are related Knowledge Network tools that address spam and other security issues.