Some Advice from John Rudy
I have said before that you need to be careful when dealing with emails. I’ll go through a number of issues here, of widely varying importance, but you should take each seriously.
- Reread your email before you send it. Some email systems have spell or grammar checkers (and other associated products can be acquired). If they don’t, it is still amazing how many stupid errors you discover by rereading what you have written.
- Make sure you know who you are sending something to. This may sound obvious, but if you get an email from, say, a Yahoo group, the default might be “reply all.” Maybe you would prefer that your response only go to the sender or to another individual. Many years ago, I remember saying something like “what a stupid email” and sending it before I realized it went to about 400 people. Once an email is sent it cannot be stopped.
- When you receive an email, you think you know from whom it came. In many cases, if you hover your cursor over the TO name and press the right key on your mouse, you can see the sender’s address. Other times, it will be posted at the top of your message. Here is one that I received from Goldstar that looks legitimate:
On the other hand, here is a message that I purportedly got fromWells Fargo You should be very careful before clicking on a URLyou are unsure of. If I thought that maybe it was legit, I would have called my Wells Fargo broker to inquire.
Look at the sending address. Just a Comcast address, and the person who sent it has an odd name. I was positive that this message was NOT legitimate. The message then went on to sa:
And it wanted me to click on the URL it provided. That would be a really bad thing to do! (Note that clicking on the address above will not connect.)
- Sometimes, scammers are really tricky. Here is one that Kim Komando references on her blog. Doesn’t it look real? It sure does, but this technique is call phishing: “Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.” From Wikipedia.
A long-time computer expert and guide, John provides his helpful hints in this monthly BOLLI Matters feature. In the comment box below, provide questions or comments for John on any computer/tech topic .